queen

The Queen pictured wearing a hearing aid for the first time

The 93-year-old monarch was seen wearing the discreet device as she arrived for church

Gemma Strong

The Queen has been pictured wearing a hearing aid in public for the very first time. The 93-year-old monarch was seen wearing the discreet red and brown electrical device in her right ear as she arrived by car for a morning church service at Sandringham on Sunday. It comes five years after her husband, Prince Philip, was seen wearing behind-the-ear hearing aids at the age of 93 in October 2014. As she left the church following the service, members of the public applauded Her Majesty, and she waved from her car as it pulled away. The Queen is set to hold crisis talks with members of the royal family on Monday at her Sandringham estate, following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to step down as senior royals.

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The Queen has been pictured wearing a hearing aid for the very first time

The meeting will be attended by Prince Harry, Prince William and their father Prince Charles, while Meghan is expected to join the discussion by phone from Canada. Among the issues likely to be discussed are what funding the couple will receive, whether they will keep their titles, and what royal duties they will continue to carry out. It will be the first time the Queen has come face-to-face with her grandson since he and Meghan announced their desire to "step back" as senior royals.

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The couple revealed their shock decision in a statement released on Instagram on Wednesday, stating that it came after "many months of reflection and internal discussions". "We intend to step back as senior members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen," it read. Harry and Meghan further confirmed they plan to balance their time between the UK and North America while "continuing to honour our duty to the Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages". "This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity."