After marking 70 years since she ascended the throne at her Sandringham Estate, Queen Elizabeth has returned to Windsor Castle. With her Platinum Jubilee celebrations set to begin in earnest in the coming weeks and months, the Queen will also be returning to some light royal duties.
Buckingham Palace announced the monarch will “be resuming her normal duties of audiences, credentials, and privy council meetings continuing to mix both virtual and in person events.” This news comes after a long period of rest for the Queen, who was ordered by doctors to slow down late last year after a health scare.
The 95-year-old monarch was hospitalized overnight in October for observation, then pulled out of a number of royal engagements as she was instructed to rest at Windsor Castle. Queen Elizabeth kept a low profile for the rest of 2021, appearing only for minor engagements until she made her first appearance of 2022 on the weekend.
She delighted royal watchers when she hosted a reception for local community groups at Sandringham House on the eve of Accession Day, sharing pictures and video to the royal family Instagram. Footage of the Queen sharing a joke as she cut into a celebratory Jubilee cake showed that she was in good spirits, though she was using a cane for support during the event.
The 95-year-old marked Accession Day at Sandringham the following day, then packed up to return to Windsor before her Jubilee celebrations officially kick off. Buckingham Palace confirmed that the Queen “plans to attend” a number of events in March as she returns to royal duties for 2022.
Her first outing is expected to be a glamorous Diplomatic Reception hosted at Windsor Castle, where royals and other key figures will be dressed to the nines for the white-tie event.It is also expected that she will be front and center on March 14 for the annual Commonwealth Day Service — the same event that marked Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s final official royal engagement in 2020.
While the Queen appears to be easing her way back into her public royal duties, it’s clear that the monarchy is preparing to see her play a more limited role in the future. Kate Middleton has picked up a new royal patronage, while Prince Charles and Prince William continue to undertake more official duties to support the Queen. And on Sunday she announced her “wish” that daughter-in-law Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall take up the title of Queen Consort when Charles is one day named King.
In an official statement, the Queen said: “When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me. And it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”
The news sparked headlines around the world, both due to the debate around Camilla’s position in the royal family and the clear message the Queen’s statement sent about her plans for the future of the monarchy. Though we hope she continues to live many more years healthy and happy, it’s clear she is making plans for a future where Charles is king — a future we will likely only see after her death.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.