The Queen has carried out her first official engagements since she missed the Remembrance Sunday service. On Wednesday, the 95-year-old monarch met the head of the military in a face-to-face audience.
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She welcomed General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, to Windsor Castle as he prepares to step down from his role as the armed forces chief at the end of the month.
WATCH: The Queen carries out first official engagement since missing Remembrance Sunday
The Queen, who pulled out of the Cenotaph service three days ago with a sprained back, was pictured standing as she greeted Gen Sir Nick in the castle's Oak Room.
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Dressed in a green, orange and white floral dress and wearing a string of pearls, the monarch, who is head of the Armed Forces, smiled and shook hands with Gen Sir Nick as they began chatting. The Queen said it was "rather sad" he was leaving and replied: "It's a long time."
Gen Sir Nick discussed the Duke of Edinburgh's late uncle, saying: "It is a long time. In fact, the only person who has done longer I'm told is Lord Mountbatten… so I am quite surprised by all that."
The Queen chuckled and replied: "Oh really? Oh?" She added: "I suppose if you get into that job, you know, it is easier to continue, isn't it really?"
The Queen with General Sir Nick Carter on Wednesday
This engagement marks the first time in nearly a month that the Queen has been pictured carrying out an in-person engagement since she hosted a reception for the global investment summit at Windsor on 19 October. She held a face to face audience with Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week but was not pictured doing so.
Her Majesty was forced to pull out of the Remembrance Sunday service last minute as she has sprained her back. A statement released by Buckingham Palace ahead of the service read: "The Queen, having sprained her back, has decided this morning with great regret that she will not be able to attend today's Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph. Her Majesty is disappointed that she will miss the service.
"As in previous years, a wreath will be laid on Her Majesty’s behalf by The Prince of Wales. His Royal Highness, along with The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, The Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra will be present at the Cenotaph today as planned."
The Queen's last public engagement was previously on 19 October
It is understood it was a recent sprain and there were concerns over the impact of a car journey and a period of standing on her recovery. The Queen, who recently enjoyed a private break at her Sandringham estate, has remained at Windsor Castle.
On Tuesday, she then cancelled an appearance at the General Synod - the first time the Queen, who is Supreme Governor of the Church of England, has missed her five-yearly visit to the Church’s national assembly in its 51-year history.
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