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Smiling Queen seen for first time since pulling out of COP26 climate summit after doctors’ orders to rest

THE Queen has been pictured smiling broadly for the first time since it was announced she'd been forced to back out of the COP26 summit on doctors' orders.

Buckingham Palace revealed on Tuesday that Her Majesty won't be travelling to Scotland for the meeting - as she's been advised to rest.

The decision sparked further concern for the monarch's health after she was hospitalised for 'preliminary tests' last week.

However, in a new photo issued by the Palace tonight, the Queen looked cheerful as she gave a virtual audience earlier this week.

Wearing a pretty floral dress and pearl necklace, she smiled brightly as she presented David Constantine with the Gold Medal for Poetry via videolink.

She has already hosted two virtual audiences at Windsor this week, both of which were on Tuesday - days after Palace aides told her to "cut back" on her "exhausting" schedule.

And she'll appear over video once again this week for the eco-summit.

She had planned to speak to attendees directly, but will now deliver a pre-recorded video message instead.

The Queen had 295 engagements during 2019 - and has pursued a punishing schedule following the Duke of Edinburgh's death, carrying out 120 official appointments in 194 days.

Her decision not to attend in person comes after she backed out of a planned trip to Northern Ireland - her first cancelled royal duty in 15 years.

She spent a night in hospital last week but was later discharged in "good spirits".

Her hospital stay was kept a secret and only confirmed by the Palace when it was revealed by The Sun.

And while it's understood her medical team acted out of caution and the stay was for "practical reasons", sources claim her family - including Prince Harry - are concerned.

Unsubstantiated reports in US Weekly reveal the Duke of Sussex felt "helpless" from his home in Montecito, LA after learning his grandmother had been hospitalised.

It's claimed he's been "checking in non-stop" to ensure she is feeling better.


The source claims Harry "feels guilty about not saying goodbye" in person to Prince Philip, who died in April.

"He would never forgive himself if the same thing happened with his beloved grandmother," they said.

The duke is even planning a return to the UK this year to see his family, according to reports.

It's claimed he is "hoping to go back home for Christmas with Meghan, if not before, so that [the Queen] can finally get to meet Lilibet and see Archie again."

Meanwhile, royal experts say the monarch "isn't someone who will naturally take to slowing down".

Richard Fitzwilliams told The Sun: "She knows people want to see her, she knows certain events are particularly important, and if she can possibly make it in person, she will.


"It's more or less inevitable that there'll be a very, very careful rethink now.

"However, she truly hates letting anyone down."

Royal sources claimed she was "knackered" as a result of her punishing schedule, coupled with a busy social life and late-night TV.

But the monarch herself shot down her doubters last week by refusing an Oldie of the Year award.

She said she "doesn't meet the relevant criteria".

Her Majesty cheekily added: "You are as old as you feel."

Royal Correspondent Dickie Arbiter says The Queen is right to miss COP26 as covid-19 infections will spike during the course of the conference​