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Queen Elizabeth makes her first public appearance in weeks at the horse show

LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II attended the Royal Windsor Horse Show on Friday, watching her beloved equines from the comfort of a Range Rover before heading to her dressing room in her first public appearance in person in weeks. .

The monarch sat in the front passenger seat and spoke to a small group through the window after stopping at the parade ground near Windsor Castle, where she has spent much of the past two years. The Queen appeared relaxed and smiled as dozens of photographers a few feet away tried to capture the moment.

The Queen’s public appearances are being closely watched as Britain prepares to celebrate the monarch’s 70 years on the throne with four days of festivities from June 2-5.

Elizabeth, 96, has reduced her schedule in recent months as she recovers from COVID-19 and faces unspecified difficulties getting around.

On Tuesday, she asked Prince Charles to preside over the official opening of Parliament and deliver the Queen’s Speech, which sets out the government’s legislative agenda. The event is one of the Queen’s most significant public appearances, underlining her constitutional role as head of state.

Buckingham Palace has not said what prompted the Queen to delegate her role to Prince Charles, but she has experienced what the palace calls “episodic mobility issues” in recent months. Elizabeth has used a cane in some recent public appearances, and Prince Andrew escorted the Queen to Westminster Abbey during last month’s memorial service for her late husband Prince Philip.

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