Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday attended her second in-person royal engagement in a private ceremony at Windsor Castle to formally welcome Baron Parker as the new Lord Chamberlain.
The 95-year old royal appointed Parker, former director general of MI5 from April 2013 to 2020, as the most senior official of her Royal Household. The engagement was recorded on the Court Circular, which keeps a daily list of events attended by Her Majesty The Queen and her family.
"The Lord Parker of Minsmere had an audience of the Queen today, kissed hands upon his appointment as Lord Chamberlain and received from Her Majesty the Wand and Insignia of Office and the Badge of Chancellor of the Royal Victorian Order, when the Queen invested him with the Insignia of a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order," reads the statement from the Court Circular published by The Sun.
Parker assumed the position on April 1 from former Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel, who retired after more than 14 years of service. Prior to stepping down, he handled funeral plans for Prince Philip, known as Operation Forth Bridge. He then officially passed on the baton during Tuesday's private ceremony at Windsor Castle hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.
This is the second royal duty the queen attended just days after her husband died on April 9. The ceremony coincides with a palace source's prior announcement that the royal family will continue to "undertake engagements appropriate to the circumstances" while observing two weeks of mourning.
Queen Elizabeth II will next attend Prince Philip's funeral ceremony on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at St. George's Chapel. It will be broadcast live but will only have 30 people in attendance to abide by the government's health and safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Immediate members of the royal family are expected to join in the service. These include the queen's children and grandchildren and a few staff members of Windsor Castle. All attendees will wear face masks and will be seated two meters apart from everyone else. Queen Elizabeth II may have to sit on her own unless someone from her staff, especially Prince Philip's private secretary Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell, attends the funeral.