Queen Elizabeth received a warm welcome upon her return to royal duty!
After spending her summer break at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, the 93-year-old monarch returned to London this week. She wasted no time getting back to work, making her first public outing on Friday to visit Haig Housing Trust and officially open their new housing development in Morden for armed forces veterans and the ex-service community.
The Queen stuck to her traditional of sporting bright colors — worn so she can be easily spotted in large crowds! — opting for a sky blue coat and matching wide-brimmed hat adorned with green feathers.
As the royal unveiled a plaque to open the new development of 70 homes, which includes a block called Queen Elizabeth Terrace in her honor, local schoolchildren let out a synchronized cheer: “You’re the best Queen in the world!” The monarch looked up with a big smile on her face as the crowd let out a unified, “Aww!”
Queen Elizabeth met with families benefitting from the new facilities, which are tailored to accommodate severely wounded and disabled veterans. She also visited with a group of veterans involved in last year’s Long Walk Hoe, which saw 100 former service members walk 100 miles from Ypres to the Cenotaph to mark the centenary of the Armistice.
The Queen has been a royal patron of Haig Housing since 1952.
The Queen traditionally spends the late summer months, when Buckingham Palace is open to the public, in the Scottish Highlands. For more than 150 years, Balmoral Castle has served as a private retreat for the British royals. In the highlands, the royals like to entertain friends, hold dances, picnic and go on shooting parties – all the while battling the nibbling little flies that stalk the heather-covered mountain sides.
But it’s not all play for the monarch while she’s away from London. She does continue to work, reading her diplomatic papers in the famous “red boxes” that are delivered daily. She will also continue to hold audiences and undertake some public engagements.
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The Royal Standard flag, which signifies the presence of a monarch at a royal residence, was “cracked” at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, as seen in a video shared by The Royal Family on social media. The flag is raised up the pole before it was opened. When Queen Elizabeth is not at one of her homes, the Union Jack is raised in its place.
And for her first royal engagement after her return to London, the Queen didn’t go far — she held an Investiture ceremony at the palace on Thursday to honor 62 recipients, including Bear Grylls and Christopher Jewell, who was part of the British diving team during the rescue operation to save a Thai youth soccer team.
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