2020 has been a learning curve for us all, as we've adapted to keeping our distance and socialising down a camera lens. And despite reaching the grand old age of 94, Queen Elizabeth has also been one to readjust, becoming something of a pro at video calls like the rest of us.
Queen Elizabeth has carried out a few functions via online conference call over the course of the year, but like so many others, she suffered an awkward technical glitch on her most recent one. Cue: a lot of bumbling "are you there?" and "can you hear me?!"
Her Majesty was talking to staff at accounting firm KPMG in celebration of its 150th anniversary, but while exchanging words with John McCalla-Leacy, the firm's first Black board member, the connection at Windsor Castle dropped out briefly. Where the Queen had previously been seen - dressed in a cream blouse, blue cardigan, and pearls - a grey screen with a faceless figurehead appeared instead, much to the panic of the other five people on the call.
As you can see in Sky's clip of the moment below, John McCalla-Leacy quickly reacted to the monarch's disappearance, saying: "I'm sorry..."
A new video of a virtual visit has shown that the Queen, just like the rest of us, has had to grapple with technical gremlins as she works remotely because of #COVID19.
Read more: https://t.co/qTO3PEuvA4 pic.twitter.com/m6orVu6r6I
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 15, 2020
Thankfully, it didn't take long before Queen Elizabeth reappeared back on screen. "I'm sorry, ma'am, I lost you! I wasn't sure if you could hear me," McCalla-Leacy said.
The Queen, taking it all in her stride, seemed pretty unfazed by the whole thing and replied, "You just disappeared!" Bet this happens all the time when she's Zooming the great-grandkids.
It's a good job Her Majesty has become so adept at video calls, because the usual big royal family Christmas celebration, which takes place at the Sandringham Estate every year, has been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, she and her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, have decided to spend the festive period "quietly" together in Windsor.
While the new Christmas arrangements are for an important cause - to stop the spread of COVID-19 - and are non- negotiable for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's health, the monarch is still clearly disappointed at all the disruption. Last week, while listening to the Salvation Army play carols at a socially distanced gathering of key royals outside Windsor Castle, she was overheard saying something that might just break your heart a little.
Royal correspondent, Rebecca English, shared the touching moment on Twitter: "The Queen told @salvationarmyuk she was 'So happy they were able to play some carols because she thinks this will be the only time she’ll be able to hear carols’ this year."
Sigh. Let's just be optimistic and hope that 2021 will bring us the best Christmas we've ever had...
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