She’s getting better: Queen performs first official engagement since falling ill over festive season

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Health fears were sparked after the Queen missed two church services over the festive season, with many worried that she was suffering from more than a “heavy cold,” as claimed by officials.

However, the British monarch now appears to be on the mend, having presented a member of staff with an honour, while she continues to recover at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk. The Queen invested Ray Wheaton the Queen’s Page of the Chambers, with the insignia of a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order, according to details logged in the court circular.

This is an independent gift which is given in recognition for services to the royal household. She is now said to be up and about, and dealing with official paperwork, having been too poorly to attend church services she normally goes to on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Condolences

She is also catching up on world events and her correspondence, and has sent a message of condolence to Turkey’s president, following the New year’s Eve nightclub massacre in which 39 people were killed when an ISIS gunman opened fire. Describing herself and husband Prince Philip as “saddened” by the terrible events, she said her thoughts were with all of those affected and with the Turkish people.

Both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh developed heavy colds over the festive season. They had originally been due to travel to Sandringham, where they usually stay until February, via train, but were forced to change their plans at the last minute. Instead, they went by helicopter, which landed in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

While Prince Philip has managed to attend church on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, the Queen was two ill to attend with other senior members of the royal family. Fears grew for her health as she remained out of the public eye, but she is now said to be well on the road to recovery.