Queen Elizabeth returns to royal duties four days after her husband’s death

Britons will be encouraged to plant trees to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 70th anniversary on the throne as part of a plan to create a greener country in honour of her seven decades of service. The 94-year-old, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, is due to mark her Platinum Jubilee in February 2022. The government is planning a four-day celebration that summer, featuring an extra day’s public holiday, with tree planting to be a feature of the milestone, according to an announcement on Sunday. ADVERTISEMENT Named “The Queen’s Green Canopy,” the charity-backed project will encourage communities, schools, councils and landowners to plant native trees to help the environment and make local areas greener. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the health crisis and pandemic had reminded people of the importance of nature and green spaces and that trees could transform communities as well as tackling climate change. “As we celebrate Her Majesty’s incredible 70 years of service, I encourage everyone to get behind this scheme and go ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee,’” Johnson said. ADVERTISEMENT Charities Cool Earth and The Woodland Trust said the planting of trees would create a special gift for the monarch, who has planted more than 1,500 trees around the world during her reign. Elizabeth, who is also the world’s current oldest and longest-reigning monarch, became queen on Feb. 6, 1952, following the death of her father King George VI. The British royal family have been vocal campaigners on a host of environmental issues, with Elizabeth’s son Prince Charles speaking out for decades about the impact of climate change and the importance of conservation, and her grandson Prince William also taking up the mantle.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth returned to royal duties on Tuesday, four days after the death of her husband, Prince Philip, in an event to mark the retirement of her household’s most senior official, PA Media reported.

The queen hosted a ceremony as the Earl Peel stepped down as Lord Chamberlain, the report added.

Philip, who had been at the queen’s side throughout her 69-year reign, died at Windsor Castle on Friday, aged 99. His funeral will be held on Saturday.

The Duke of Edinburgh, as he was officially known, married Elizabeth in 1947.

In recent years, the queen has reduced her official engagements and passed many royal duties and patronages to Prince Charles, his son William and other senior royals. But she still carries out the most symbolic royal duties, such as the opening of parliament.

The queen’s son, Prince Andrew, said on Sunday that the queen was stoic in the face of a loss she had described as “having left a huge void in her life.”

Despite the hole in her life left by Philip’s death, aides and royal experts have long said it would not lead to the queen, the world’s oldest and longest-reigning living monarch, relinquishing the throne in favour of her son and heir Prince Charles.

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