The Queen recently joined in her second official video call, as she spoke to serving men and women from the armed forces about their recent work during the pandemic.
Elizabeth II joined a WebEx call from Windsor Castle, using the screen name ‘Windsor UK’, to hear about the work the army, RAF and Royal Navy are carrying out. Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter was also on the call.
“Everybody’s been extremely busy with the pandemic and doing a wonderful job,” The Queen commented, saying how ‘interesting’ it was to see British personnel so wide spread across the world.
The Monarch was tickled to hear about one person’s new exercise regime. Lance Corporal Shanwayne Stephens told The Queen how he been pushing a Mini Cooper around an industrial estate in Peterborough to stay fit during lockdown.
“I’m the pilot for the Jamaican bobsleigh team,” Stephens said.
“Gosh!” she said, giggling. “Sounds a very dangerous job.”
He told he of his ‘unorthodox’ training: “I’ve been pushing a car up and down the street,” he explained.
“Well I suppose that’s one way to train,” she laughed.
The Queen was wearing one of Queen Victoria’s pearl brooches for the call.
Lieutenant Colonel Barrie Terry of The Yorkshire Regiment represented the army on the call; he who is currently deployed to the UN Peacekeeping mission in Mali.
Barrie explained to the Commander in Chief of the British military, that he had not seen his family since November because of travel restrictions caused by the pandemic. Anya Barrie, his wife, works for the NHS, training healthcare professionals and return to practice nurses; she is also looking after their two sons Theo, 15, and Arthur, 11.
“I think with her [The Queen’s] background, she’s used to her grandchildren and her children at various stages of their life being away due to service in the armed forces, especially with Prince Philip,” he said to Hello!. “I think she’s familiar with the family separation that service life brings.”
The Royal Navy had Able Rate Sophie Levy, 22, speaking about their work. She was on her first operational deployment on board RFA Argus (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) off Curaçao in the Caribbean. Sophie works as an aircraft handler.
Sophie had, in fact, met Her Majesty in 2014, when she was a Sea Cadet; Levy had escorted the Monarch and the Lord Lieutenant around Holyport College near Windsor.
“I would think the last time I saw you, you wouldn’t have imagined that this is what you would be doing now,” The Queen told her.
“It was a nice personal connection to bring it up that I had met her all those years ago,” the sailor commented. “I called from a cabin onboard so she was able to see what life on board is like and how we live on Argus. She could see my photos in the background of my family.”
Many members of the Royal Family are beginning to get back to public-facing engagements, although it is thought The Queen, 94, will probably not fully return to work due to her age and vulnerability to Covid-19.
“I am very glad to have been able to meet all of you. And the best of luck,” The Queen signed off.