The queen attends a horse show in her first public appearance in weeks

LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II attended the Royal Windsor Horse Show on Friday and watched her beloved equines from the comfort of a Range Rover before walking to her box for her first in-person public appearance in weeks.

The monarch sat in the front passenger seat and spoke to a small group through the window after stopping in the parade ground near Windsor Castle, where she has spent much of the last two years. The queen seemed relaxed and smiled as dozens of photographers a few meters 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 hours in recent months as she recovered from COVID-19 and dealt with unspecified difficulties getting around.

On Tuesday, he asked Prince Charles to preside over the state 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 important public appearances and highlights her constitutional role as head of state.

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

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