Queen hosts Boris Johnson for the first time at Buckingham Palace since Covid pandemic began

THE Queen has today hosted Boris Johnson at Buckingham Palace for the first time since the start of the Covid pandemic in March last year.

Her Majesty welcomed the Prime Minister at the royal residence for his weekly audience with her.

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The pair, who were together at the G7 summit earlier this month, have conducted their audiences by telephone ever since the coronavirus pandemic swept through the nation.

They last held a face to face weekly audience 15 months ago on March 11 2020.

A week later on March 18 they switched to speaking on the telephone instead as the Queen prepared to socially distance herself at Windsor Castle.

She retreated to the Berkshire royal residence into what was dubbed HMS Bubble with the Duke of Edinburgh just before England went into its first national lockdown.

Mr Johnson and the Queen were pictured speaking by phone from Downing Street and Windsor on March 25 last year.

On Wednesday, the Queen, 95, dressed in a lilac, was photographed with the PM in her Private Audience Room at the central London palace.

It is believed to be the first time the Queen has been at the palace for six weeks since she attended the State Opening of Parliament in May.

The pair were seen together at the G7 summit in Cornwall earlier this morning when Her Maj charmed world leaders.

Joe and Jill Biden and Emmanuel Macron were left chuckling at the Queen's quips at the Eden Project indoor rainforest in Cornwall.

As they posed for a socially distanced group photo, the 95-year-old monarch asked the question possibly on all their minds.

She said: "Are you supposed to be looking as if you're enjoying yourself?"

The presidents and prime ministers alongside her could not help bursting into laughter, as Boris replied emphatically: "Yes!"

The Queen hosted an open-air reception at the Eden Project in Cornwall and was joined by the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

In March last year, Mr Johnson tested positive for Covid-19 just over two weeks after his final in-person audience with the Queen, but the monarch stayed in good health.

He was later admitted to intensive care and credited NHS staff for saving his life.

In April 2020, he celebrated the arrival of his baby son Wilfred, and last month he and his fiancee Carrie Symonds married in secret at Westminster Cathedral.

In a 1992 documentary filmed to mark her 40th year on the throne, the Queen – the nation's longest reigning sovereign – gave her view on the importance of her meetings with her prime ministers.

"They unburden themselves or tell me what is going on or if they have any problems, and sometimes I can help in some way as well," she said.

"They know I can be impartial and it is rather nice to feel one is a sponge.

"Occasionally one can put one's point of view and perhaps they have not seen it from that angle."

As head of state, the Queen is politically neutral and acts on the advice of her Government in political matters, but her political knowledge is immense.

Throughout her reign, she has received weekly briefings from the prime minister of the day, and dozens of government documents pass across her desk every week for formal approval.

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