Queen Elizabeth II Is Back Working From Home Five Days After Hospital Stay

Queen Elizabeth II met diplomats from Korea and Switzerland over a video call in her first official public engagement since a hospital stay.

The monarch, 95, was back at work less than a week after canceling a trip to Northern Ireland on medical advice.

Ambassador Gunn Kim, of South Korea, and Markus Leitner, Swiss ambassador, spoke to the queen after being newly appointed into their positions, according to Buckingham Palace.

Photos show Elizabeth smiling and appearing in good spirits during the two separate calls from Windsor Castle.

The queen pulled out of a two-day trip to Northern Ireland on Wednesday, October 20, and later that afternoon went to hospital for preliminary tests.

It came after she was twice spotted using a walking stick at official engagements, after previously having knee operations in 2003.

However, the night before her canceled trip she was without the aid as she shook hands with dignitaries including U.S. climate envoy John Kerry and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates at a Global Investment Summit at Windsor Castle.

The palace confirmed Tuesday the queen will not make a planned appearance at COP26, the global climate change summit which is scheduled to begin on October 31 in Glasgow, Scotland. She will instead make a virtual appearance.

"Her Majesty is disappointed not to attend the reception but will deliver an address to the assembled delegates via a recorded video message,'' Buckingham Palace said.

The royals are expected to be out in force lending their famed soft power to British diplomacy on a cause they have championed for decades.

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will all be part of the effort amid an ongoing palace drive to stake the royal family's claim to green issues.

A Buckingham Palace statement on October 20 read: "The Queen has reluctantly accepted medical advice to rest for the next few days.

"Her Majesty is in good spirits and is disappointed that she will no longer be able to visit Northern Ireland, where she had been due to undertake a series of engagements today and tomorrow.

"The Queen sends her warmest good wishes to the people of Northern Ireland, and looks forward to visiting in the future."

However, the palace confirmed a stay in the hospital after details were leaked to The Sun newspaper last week.

The Queen Before Her Hospital Stay
Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Boris Johnson greet guests at the Global Investment Summit at Windsor Castle on October 19, 2021. The following day she canceled a two-day visit to Northern Ireland on medical advice. Alastair Grant - WPA Pool / Getty Images

On Thursday, October 21, the palace added: "Following medical advice to rest for a few days, The Queen attended hospital on Wednesday afternoon for some preliminary investigations, returning to Windsor Castle at lunchtime today, and remains in good spirits."

BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said last week the palace had led the media to believe Elizabeth was resting at Windsor Castle when she was in reality in the hospital.

He told BBC Breakfast: "The problem, it seems to me, is that rumor and misinformation always thrives in the absence of proper, accurate, and trustworthy information."

He added: "We are told that there were 'preliminary investigations' taking place. Well, that would suggest that after preliminary investigations there may be some further subsequent investigations.

"We are told that she is in 'good spirits'—that would certainly be in line with her stoical character—but that phrase is a little bit of a cliché now.

"We are told that she is back at Windsor Castle undertaking light duties. Well, we must hope that we can place reliance on what the Palace is telling us."

Queen Elizabeth II With Walking Stick
Queen Elizabeth II was seen with a walking stick twice before she canceled her trip to Northern Ireland, including at a service for The Royal British Legion at Westminster Abbey on October 12, 2021 in London, England. Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images