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The Queen pulls out of traditional WI meeting due to illness

Her Majesty, 93, is said to be suffering from a cold

Hanna Fillingham

The Queen typically joins the Sandringham Women's Institute meeting every year – something she has been doing since 1943 – but on Thursday, the 93-year-old was forced to pull out of her annual visit because she has a cold. The monarch usually joins the WI ladies for tea and cake, and then listens to a speech. This year, the speech was delivered by BBC newsreader Huw Edwards. Last year, the royal made headlines during her time with the WI, as she took part in a live game of Pointless, which was hosted by Alexander Armstrong. What's more, her team won in a best-of-five match, and were given a coveted Pointless trophy.

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The Queen was forced to cancel her appearance at the WI on Thursday

The Queen has attended the WI group's meetings since 1943 and took over as President from the Queen Mother, who in turn took over from Queen Mary. In the past, vice president Yvonne, who has been a member for over 25 years, has said the monarch "becomes one of us" at the gatherings and enjoys chatting over a cup of Yorkshire Blend tea. The royal's daughter Princess Anne and her daughters-in-law, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex, are also members of the WI, the organisation that hopes to "gather women together, encourage them to acquire new skills and nurture unique talents".

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The Queen goe to the WI in Sandringham every year

The royal was last seen out in public on Sunday, as she attended church at St Mary the Virgin, Hillington, with her son Prince Andrew. This marked Andrew's first appearance since stepping down from his royal duties after his BBC Newsnight interview last year, which focused on his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

READ: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding souvenirs wiped from royal site

It was also the first time that the Queen had been seen since her announcement regarding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Saturday evening. Having discussed in detail the plans for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's new life away from the royal family, Her Majesty informed the public that her grandson and Meghan would be giving up their royal titles, as well as paying back £2.4 million of the taxpayers' money spent on refurbishing Frogmore Cottage.

The statement read: "Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family. "Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family. I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life. I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family. It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life."

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