The British monarch, 93, was photographed looking somber behind the wheel of a Land Rover at lunchtime Friday

By Phil Boucher
January 10, 2020 01:16 PM

Queen Elizabeth was spotted for the first time on Friday since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their surprise split from the royal family.

The British monarch, 93, was photographed looking stern-faced behind the wheel of a Land Rover on her Sandringham estate in Norfolk at lunchtime.

She is thought to have driven along the country road to attend a shoot on the estate — where she stays in residence throughout the holiday season and into February.

Guests at the shoot are reported to have included her grandson Peter Phillips, 42, whose sister Zara Tindall, 38, was banned from driving on Wednesday.

It is likely that another grandson was uppermost in her thoughts, however.

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Since Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, stunned the world with their decision to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family” on Wednesday, the Queen and senior royals including Prince William and Prince Charles have been in emergency discussions with royal aides to find a solution to Harry and Meghan’s “desire to take a different approach.”

Just hours after Harry and Meghan shared their plan, Queen Elizabeth‘s office at Buckingham Palace reacted by saying the conversation is still in “early” stages.

There is a lot of hurt about this,” one royal source told PEOPLE.

RELATED: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Decision Is ‘Unprecedented in the Modern Royal Family’

Meghan Markle and Queen Elizabeth in June 2018.
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have kept a low-profile since their historic announcement. While Meghan, 38, flew back to Canada on Thursday to reunite with their son Archie, Prince Harry has remained at their Frogmore Cottage home to thrash out a deal with his family.

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PEOPLE previously reported that Meghan and Harry’s 8-month-old son remained in North America while the couple flew to London, where they made their first appearance of the new year at Canada House on Tuesday to thank the country for hosting them during their holiday getaway.

It is believed that Archie stayed with Meghan’s close pal Jessica Mulroney, whose three children served as page boys and a flower girl in the couple’s royal wedding in May 2018. Soon after the couple made their shocking announcement on Wednesday, Jessica appeared to voice her support via an Instagram post.

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