Queen makes her first video call as she tells carers 'I'm very impressed'

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent

The Queen has made her first appearance in a video call engagement as she marked Carers’ Week alongside her daughter, Princess Anne.

The Queen, 94, has been in isolation in Windsor Castle for several weeks as she and her husband Prince Philip shield during the coronavirus pandemic.

While she has been photographed, heard on telephone calls, and given two televised addresses during the lockdown, on Thursday Buckingham Palace released her first video call.

She and Anne, 69, called four carers around the country and spoke to Gareth Howells, the chief executive of the Carers Trust, on 4 June.

In the video, the Queen can be heard saying: “Interesting listening to all your tales and stories.

“I’m very impressed by what you have achieved already.

“I’m very glad to have been able to join you today.”

The Queen wore a floral dress with a pearl necklace and earrings for the call and appeared to be sat at a desk, where the camera offered a glimpse into the room behind her - including a plush sofa, some armchairs and a vase of flowers.

The Queen riding in Home Park in Windsor in May. (Getty Images)

Read more: Queen's mini Trooping the Colour revealed as official birthday marked in lockdown

The Queen spoke to Nadia Taylor, who looks after her mother, father, husband and her daughter, in London.

The 44-year-old said: ““The call was about 45 minutes and the Queen was on for about 20 minutes of that. She asked us all questions.

“We talked about how we are all coping in the current climate with COVID-19.

“I explained to her how much more isolated carers are at the moment.

“Many don’t have laptops or tablets and feel very cut off. A lot of the appointments – doctors, hospitals etc – we need have been cancelled.

“The Queen asked questions about how we all coped and called us extraordinary, which was very lovely.”

Mrs Taylor added: “There was a picture of the outside of Windsor Castle for a few seconds on the screen and then she came in.

“She was sitting in a very elegant room.

“She is quite formal in the way she speaks but I have to say I was personally struck about how warm she was.

“You always imagine they would be quite aloof and removed from your own situation, but it didn’t feel like that.”

The Queen and the duke shared a new photo for his birthday. (PA Images)

Read more: Prince Philip's 99th birthday marked with new lockdown photo with the Queen

The Queen and the Princess Royal also spoke to Alexandra Atkins, 24, from Swansea, who looks after her mother Helen who has Bechets Syndrome, as well all her father Keith and her grandmother.

She said: “The Queen actually took it in her stride as well.

“What was really nice was that, while you could tell she had never done that kind of call for work before, she really took it in her stride.

“She was listening to what we were saying and paraphrasing it back to us. It felt lovely to be so appreciated.”

She added: “To have them both talking face to face to us, was just unreal.

“It hit me that I was sitting in my bedroom talking to the Princess Royal and the Queen.”

Princess Anne also recorded a video message to mark the week, and said: “If you are an unpaid family carer, thank you so much for everything you do for those who cannot care for themselves. This Carers Week, and always, please know that your role is a vital one; one to be highlighted and celebrated, and one that should never be forgotten.”

Carers’ Week in the UK is marked from 8 June to 14 June this year.

“The Queen actually took it in her stride as well.

“What was really nice was that, while you could tell she had never done that kind of call for work before, she really took it in her stride.

“She was listening to what we were saying and paraphrasing it back to us. It felt lovely to be so appreciated.”

She added: “To have them both talking face to face to us, was just unreal.

“It hit me that I was sitting in my bedroom talking to the Princess Royal and the Queen.”

The release of the call comes in a busy week for the Queen. Prince Philip marked his 99th birthday on Wednesday and she will participate in a smaller version of the usual Trooping the Colour for her official birthday on Saturday.

She’s also shared her favourite horses from her years of breeding and racing with Horse & Hound magazine.