Queen Elizabeth Dives Into Work amid Husband Prince Philip's Extended Hospital Stay

The Queen held a video call with South Australian leaders about their response to the coronavirus pandemic and unveiled a statue of herself

Queen Elizabeth is continuing to stay busy amid her husband Prince Philip's hospital stay.

The Queen held a video meeting with the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency the Hon. Hieu Van Le, and the Hon. Steven Marshall MP, Premier of South Australia, on Wednesday to hear how the region has handled the COVID-19 pandemic, including vaccinating key workers and lifting restrictions. She also learned how South Australia has recovered from the drought and bushfires in early 2020.

During the call, they were also joined by sculptor Robert Hannaford to unveil a new statue of the monarch recently installed in the grounds of Government House.

Upon seeing the statue, the Queen, 94, said: "It must be quite alarming to suddenly see it out of the window — you'd think, gracious, has she arrived unexpectedly!"

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Queen Elizabeth speaks to Hieu Van Le and Steven Marshall. Buckingham Palace
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Queen Elizabeth. Buckingham Palace

Hannaford also presented Queen Elizabeth with a "maquette," a scale model of the statue, which will be sent on to her as a memento.

On receiving the maquette, the Queen thanked the sculptor and said: "I'm glad it's not quite as big as the original statue!"

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Queen Elizabeth statue. Buckingham Palace

The Queen's latest video call was released the same day as her husband Prince Philip, 99, was transferred to a top hospital across London for more treatment.

According to the palace statement, "The Duke of Edinburgh was today transferred from King Edward VII's Hospital to St. Bartholomew's Hospital where doctors will continue to treat him for an infection, as well as undertake testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition.

"The Duke remains comfortable and is responding to treatment but is expected to remain in hospital until at least the end of the week."

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Prince Philip. Max Mumby/Getty

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By Tuesday, March 2, Philip will have been in the hospital for two weeks. When he was first admitted to King Edward VII hospital it was said he was at the hospital as "a precautionary measure" after he felt unwell.

A week later it was confirmed for the first time by the palace that Philip, who retired from royal duty in 2017, was being treated for an infection. The palace previously only said that the illness was not COVID-19 related. (Both Queen Elizabeth and Philip received their coronavirus vaccines in January.)

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