Queen conducts emotional final engagement just before second lockdown hits

Queen Elizabeth II
(Image credit: Photo by Ben Stansall - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

With the country now plunged into its second lockdown, the Queen and Prince Philip have now left the capital for the safety of Windsor Castle.

But not before the Queen carried out her first royal engagement in London since 19 March. Her heartfelt appearance at Westminster Abbey will also be her last engagement until lockdown lifts on 2 December. 

The Queen marked the 100th anniversary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey. She did so mere hours before the second lockdown in England commenced. Yesterday, Her Majesty was photographed as she quietly left Windsor Castle in the back of her car, wearing a black dress and sunglasses. 

In the Court Circular - the royals’ official register of engagements - the Queen was heading for her first duty in the capital since the nationwide lockdown in March.

A photo posted by on

Dated November 4, the entry reportedly read: "The Queen this morning commemorated the Centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey, London SW1, and was received at the Great West Door by the Dean of Westminster (the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle)."

The Unknown Warrior was buried in the historic Abbey on November 11 1920. The Queen’s grandfather, King George V, was present for this significant occasion. 

Following on from this royal engagement, the Court Circular also confirmed the Queen’s weekly meeting with the Prime Minister went ahead - “via telephone”, according to the second entry registered for this date.

Where will the Queen be spending lockdown?

Th Queen is believed to be spending the next month at Windsor Castle with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. A small selection of staff is expected to be joining them.

However with the National Service of Remembrance on Sunday, it is believed that the Queen will likely leave her self-isolation to join other members of the Royal Family at the Cenotaph in London. 

How will lockdown affect Remembrance Day 2020?

Yesterday, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, officially opened the Field of Remembrance just outside Westminster Abbey.

It is here that the service will be held and Prince Charles will be the one to lay a wreath at the foot of the Cenotaph and lead the country in its two-minute silence. 

The tradition of Prince Charles leading the silence is one that has been seen in previous years. However other aspects of the service will of course be very different. 

Queen, Remembrance Day

This year, the Remembrance Day ceremony will be socially-distanced and closed to the public due. Instead we are all invited to mark this significant day from the safety of our own homes. 

When was the Queen’s last public visit?

The last public visit carried out by the Queen in London was the moving Commonwealth Day service in March. This was also held at Westminster Abbey. The monarch was joined by her son Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Prince Edward and Sophie of Wessex. 

The royals were welcomed by heads of the Commonwealth and leading figures from its state members. The Queen then continued to work at Buckingham Palace until 18 March when she reportedly held a socially-distanced audience. 

The next day, she was photographed leaving the palace along with her beloved dogs.  

We will look forward to seeing the Queen returning to her royal engagements in London in December. 

Emma Shacklock
Senior Lifestyle Writer

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, Goodto.com, and My Imperfect Life.