But a brief clip of Her Majesty receiving Boris Johnson on Wednesday offered rare insight into the historic reunions, as it revealed Matt Hancock told her: “Things are looking up. “
The Queen, 95, described the Health Secretary as a ‘poor man’, an apparent reference to the pressure he has been subjected to throughout the pandemic.
A royal assistant insisted her comments weren’t choreographed, saying: “It was a natural conversation. ”
The Queen and Boris Johnson, who were together at the G7 summit earlier this month, have conducted their hearings by telephone since the coronavirus pandemic swept the country.
This in-person meeting came as health officials said deaths from Covid-19 are now so low that they cannot be seen on official charts. Dr Mary Ramsay, head of vaccination at Public Health England, said the latest weekly data showed an average of just 14 deaths per day.
Dr Ramsay told a press conference in Downing Street: ‘Although every death is a terrible tragedy, the numbers are so small in this graph you can’t even see them … suggesting the vaccination program is helping really to prevent serious illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths due to Covid.
On Wednesday evening, ministers announced that additional support to tackle the delta variant in Hounslow, west London, was being cut as the growth rate of Covid-19 had slowed and was now in line with national rates.
A 49-second clip of the Queen welcoming Mr Johnson to Buckingham Palace was released after they met face-to-face for their weekly audience for the first time since March 11, 2020, shortly before the announcement of the first lock.
This marked a brief return to normal, but collaborators suggested that the majority of meetings would continue to be held by telephone until the fall.
The Queen was at Buckingham Palace to host the Privy Council meeting, which was attended by Mr. Hancock.
She greeted Mr Johnson before telling him that she thought it was “very extraordinary” that their last such reunion took place 15 months ago.
“I just spoke to your Secretary of State for Health – poor man,” she said.
“He came for the Privy Council. It is full of… ”
Mr Johnson intervened: ‘Full of beans,’ but the Queen continued, ‘He thinks things are improving. “
The Prime Minister replied: “They are. ”