Queen calls Matt Hancock ‘poor man’ as she restarts in-person audiences with Boris Johnson

The Queen has held her first in-person weekly audience with the Prime Minister since before lockdown began.

Boris Johnson met with the monarch at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday afternoon, noting that it has "been 15 months" since their last face-to-face audience. 

The pair were recorded greeting one another as well as discussing the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock. 

Replying to Mr Johnson’s comment on the months since their last in-person audience Her Majesty said: "Has it really? It’s most extraordinary isn’t it. I’ve just been talking to your Secretary of State for Health, poor man, he came for the privy council." 

Mr Johnson went on to call Mr Hancock "full of beans". 

The pair, who were together at the G7 summit earlier this month, have conducted their audiences by telephone ever since the coronavirus pandemic swept through the nation.

They last held a face to face weekly audience 15 months ago on March 11 2020.

It is believed to be the first time the Queen has been at the palace for six weeks since she attended the State Opening of Parliament in May

Credit: Getty Images Europe

A week later on March 18 they switched to speaking on the telephone instead as the Queen prepared to socially distance herself at Windsor Castle.

She retreated to the Berkshire royal residence into what was dubbed HMS Bubble with the Duke of Edinburgh just before England went into its first national lockdown.

Mr Johnson and the Queen were pictured speaking by phone from Downing Street and Windsor on March 25 last year.

On Wednesday, the Queen, 95, dressed in a lilac, was photographed with the PM in her Private Audience Room at the central London palace.

It is believed to be the first time the Queen has been at the palace for six weeks since she attended the State Opening of Parliament in May.

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