Queen Elizabeth Flashes a Smile in Her Go-To Pearls for In-Person Meeting at Windsor Castle

The monarch, 95, has continued to undertake light duties amid her recent health setbacks

Queen Elizabeth II, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, Sayyida Ahad Bint Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Busaidiyah,
Queen Elizabeth with the Sultan of Oman. Photo: JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth appears in good spirits as the holidays approach.

The monarch, 95, was all smiles for an in-person audience at Windsor Castle on Wednesday, where she welcomed the Sultan of Oman, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, and his wife, Sayyida Ahad Bint Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Busaidiyah. The Queen, dressed in a white dress with her go-to pearl necklace and a sapphire brooch, happily shook the Sultan's hand and posed for a photo with the couple.

The Queen has returned to meeting notable figures and dignitaries to her home outside London in recent weeks after taking her doctors' advice to rest up for most of November. She was seen walking with a cane for the first time since 2003 this past October. Shortly thereafter, it was reported she had been advised to give up horse riding and martinis, and she was hospitalized overnight on October 20 for undisclosed "preliminary investigations." On October 29, the Queen was advised to extend her rest period and only "to undertake light, desk-based duties."

She also attended the joint christening of two of her great-grandsons — Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's son August and Zara and Mike Tindall's son Lucas — last month.

queen elizabeth, , Sultan Haitham bin Tariq
Queen Elizabeth with the Sultan of Oman. JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

After a difficult year, which included the April death of her husband Prince Philip at age 99, Queen Elizabeth is expected to travel to her Sandringham Estate in Norfolk for Christmas with other members of the royal family.

Unless U.K. government mandates amid the ongoing COVID pandemic change between now and the holidays, the family will have their traditional holiday gathering, which includes a Christmas Day walk to church and exchanging gag gifts on Christmas Eve.

Last year, the festivities didn't take place due COVID precautions and protocols in place. The Queen rang in the holiday with her husband Prince Philip at Windsor Castle, where they quarantined during most of 2020.

Queen Elizabeth II attends an event in celebration of The Big Lunch initiative at The Eden Project during the G7 Summit on June 11, 2021 in St Austell, Cornwall, England. UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, hosts leaders from the USA, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Canada at the G7 Summit.
Queen Elizabeth. Oli Scarff/WPA Pool/Getty

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The Queen is also expected to host members of the royal family for her traditional pre-Christmas lunch, which was also canceled last year. The luncheon, which occurs before the Queen sets off for Sandringham, typically takes place at Buckingham Palace, but this year's event will likely be held at Windsor Castle, where the Queen has been living.

There has also been speculation that the Queen could take on a small public engagement on the grounds of the castle ahead of Christmas.

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