Fears about the health of Queen Elizabeth II have been calmed by Court Circular reports that she performed a ceremonial duty on 3 January.

It is the first official function she is believed to have undertaken since falling ill with a heavy cold in December. The Queen was unable to perform a string of important public engagements over the Christmas period, including the Christmas Day service at Sandringham.

Her continued absence led to internet rumours that the monarch had in fact died. The slurry of fake news became so prolific that Buckingham Palace made the unprecedented step of officially denying that she was dead.

Royal watchers will be heartened to know that the Queen yesterday awarded a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO) to Ray Wheaton for his services to the Royal Family and Royal household.

According to the Circular she also sent a message of condolence to the President of Turkey yesterday, following the attack in an Istanbul nightclub on New Year's Day that killed 39 people.

Ever since the 90-year-old UK head of state fell ill there have been hordes of admirers taking to Twitter to wish Her Majesty a speedy recovery after illness prevented the British monarch from attending festive engagements.

Wheaton serves as Page of the Chambers and is soon to retire. He has worked for the Royal Household for more than 30 years. His responsibilities include preparing the state rooms and stage-managing ceremonial functions such as audiences with royals, receptions and investitures.
Earlier this week, the Queen's daughter Princess Anne reportedly told well-wishers the Queen was feeling much better.

Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen attends celebrations for her 90th birthday months before rumours of her death circulated. Arthur Edwards