A news outlet announced that the Queen will have a plus one for her official birthday parade in Windsor next month as the Royal Family continues to rally around the bereaved Ruler.
Her Majesty cut a lonely figure last year at a scaled-back ceremony, also known as Trooping the Colour, in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle.
The pandemic meant it was shifted from its normal venue at Horse Guards Parade in London.
She also touched the hearts of the country when coronavirus rules meant she had to sit alone at the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip, in April.
However, for this year’s Trooping the Colour on June 12, the Queen will be accompanied by her cousin, the Duke of Kent. He was with her at the 2013 ceremony when Prince Philip was recuperating from surgery.
Palace sources say that after the restrictions imposed by the pandemic and a period of mourning for the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen will be increasing her personal engagements.
As well as Trooping the Colour, which will feature more military personnel than last year, she will meet US President Joe Biden when he visits next month for the G7 summit of leading industrial nations.
While plans are still to be finalised, it’s thought the Queen, 95, will travel to Cornwall, where the summit is being held, so she can also meet the presidents and prime ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.
As part of a plan to impress the world leaders, it’s expected that the Monarch will be accompanied by Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Charles, an eager environmentalist, has told aides he’s keen to meet Joe Biden, who in February reversed the decision by his predecessor Donald Trump to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international agreement to tackle climate change.
Having senior Royals travel to Cornwall for the summit, held at Carbis Bay between June 11 and 13, would circumvent the difficulties of arranging a state visit for Joe Biden in London under any COVID 19 restrictions.
It’s thought the President will be invited for a full state visit at a later date.
He will be the 14th US leader to meet the Queen, and since 1951, she’s met every occupant of the White House aside from Lyndon B Johnson, and it appears that the Kent family have always been a pillar of support to the Queen – Edward, Alexandra, Michael and their spouses, although they’ve not been deemed newsworthy for some time now due to the fact they’re no longer young and glamorous, but they’re still out there.
And her cousin will make a great plus one, and I dare say she’s got a variety of plus ones to choose from, and of course, she’s not attempting to replace the Duke, it’s just part of the grieving process, and after losing her husband, she needs this kind of support, and the Duke of Kent will be a fitting and suitable surrogate.
It also takes the pressure off Charles as the heir apparent, and also give the Queen the space to continue her reign supported by her cousin who has an incredible military history, which should satisfy everyone.
And also he’s closer to her own age, and standing in for Philip is a pretty serious business being brought out of mothballs to officiate with the Queen, although he does look pretty serious – at least Prince Philip had a fun side to him.