Queen in royal first as she joins video conference call

The Queen has taken part in her first ever official video conference call as part of her public royal duties.

She praised carers for their "extraordinary" work as she joined her daughter the Princess Royal to speak to four carers and Gareth Howells, the chief executive of the Carers Trust, after logging in online from the Oak Room at Windsor Castle.

It was a first for the 94-year-old's long reign and the monarch was last to join the call and first to leave – a formal etiquette of royal engagements that Buckingham Palace decided to preserve.

She spoke with Nadia Taylor, who looks after her mother who is blind and has osteoarthritis, her father who is undergoing chemotherapy for a blood disorder, her husband who has a kidney deficiency and her 16-year-old daughter who has temporomandibular disorder of her jaw joint.

30 PHOTOS
Pictures of the week: June 7 - 13
See Gallery
Pictures of the week: June 7 - 13
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 12: Tailor Gary Keenan (R) of Bogart Menswear measures up a suit using a customer pod designed to keep customers safe from Covid-19 after their store reopened for business on June 12, 2020 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. After being shuttered for months to curb the spread of Covid-19, retailers here reopened with social distancing measures, a few days ahead of when similar businesses can reopen in England. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Bryn Hughes (L), the father of Pc Nicola Hughes, and Paul Bone, the father of Pc Fiona Bone, during a groundbreaking ceremony for the new UK Police Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alreewas, Staffordshire.
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 12: Hollie Doyle heads out of the weighing room to the paddock prior to a race at Wolverhampton Racecourse on June 12, 2020 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Steve Davies/Pool via Getty Images)
Boards being put up around the statue of Thomas Guy at Guy's hospital in London, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Local residents show their support for a statue of Robert Baden-Powell on Poole Quay in Dorset ahead of its expected removal to "safe storage" following concerns about his actions while in the military and "Nazi sympathies". The action follows a raft of Black Lives Matter protests across the UK, sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Locals show their support for a statue of Robert Baden-Powell on Poole Quay in Dorset ahead of its expected removal to "safe storage" following concerns about his actions while in the military and "Nazi sympathies". The action follows a raft of Black Lives Matter protests across the UK, sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Two people cover under their clothes to protect from a rain shower as they row a boat on the river Thames at Windsor, as the the UK is forecast to be hit with heavy showers, strong gales and colder temperatures over the weekend, with Britons being warned not to move gatherings indoors.
Amanda Holden seen with an umbrella departing the Global Radio Studios in London. (Photo by Brett Cove / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A sticker placed on the tongue of one of the lion sculptures in Trafalgar Square, London, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Cecil Rhodes statue stands at the front facade of the Oriel College in Oxford during the protest. Cecil was an English-born businessman, mining magnate, and politician in South Africa. The founder of the diamond company De Beers and the founder of the state of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) , which was named after him. The Rhodes Must Fall campaign was reignited from a 2016 campaign following recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations after the demise of George Floyd under police custody in Mineapolis. Despite the Covid19 lockdown, protesters globally have united to demand change. (Photo by David Mbiyu / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Protesters hold Rhodes Must Fall placards during the demonstration. The Rhodes Must Fall campaign was reignited from a 2016 campaign following recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations after the demise of George Floyd under police custody in Mineapolis. Despite the Covid19 lockdown, protesters globally have united to demand change. (Photo by David Mbiyu / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Police during a protest calling for the removal of the statue of 19th century imperialist, politician Cecil Rhodes from an Oxford college which has reignited amid anti-racism demonstrations.
A cyclist passes graffiti in Edinburgh following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Locals show their support for a statue of Robert Baden-Powell on Poole Quay in Dorset ahead of its expected removal to "safe storage" following concerns about his actions while in the military and "Nazi sympathies". The action follows a raft of Black Lives Matter protests across the UK, sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson departs 10 Downing Street, in Westminster, London, to attend Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) at the Houses of Parliament. Picture date: Wednesday June 10, 2020. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
A worker cleans graffiti from the plinth of the statue of Sir Winston Churchill at Parliament Square in London, following a Black Lives Matter protest at the weekend. A raft of protests across the UK were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
A worker collects discarded placards from Victoria Tower Gardens in Westminster, London, following a Black Lives Matter protest at the weekend. A raft of protests across the UK were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Graffiti that reads 'Britain built on Slavery' on Great George Street on June 08, 2020 in London, England. As the British government further relaxes Covid-19 lockdown measures in England, this week sees preparations being made to open non-essential stores and Transport for London handing out face masks to commuters. International travelers arriving in the UK will face a 14-day quarantine period. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Member of the public Graham Newby cleans graffiti, that included the letters BLM and the words "murderer" and "slave owner", from a statue of Queen Victoria in Woodhouse Moor, Leeds, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
A person with a sign protesting 'British History Matters' alongside the statue of Robert Baden-Powell on Poole Quay in Dorset. The statue is due to be removed and placed in "safe storage" following concerns about his actions while in the military and "Nazi sympathies". The action follows a raft of Black Lives Matter protests across the UK, sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
A person holds a sign during a Black Lives Matter protest in Edinburgh, following a raft of protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
A woman looks at a graffiti art piece on Black Lives Matter on a wall in the Stokes Croft area of Bristol following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
McDonald's Shirley Road in Southampton operates under social distance measures as lockdown restrictions have been relaxed during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic
Council workers clean graffiti, that included the letters "BLM" and the words "murderer" and "slave owner", from a statue of Queen Victoria in Woodhouse Moor, Leeds, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
A policeman stands at the edge of an anti-racism protest in Queens Gardens, Hull, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
A member of staff has their temperature checked as they arrived to work at Woodford Dental Care in north London, as the practice opens up for the first time since the UK went into coronavirus lockdown.
CHELMSFORD, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: David Egan riding Queen of Silca (orange) win The Chelmsford Handicap at Chelmsford City Racecourse on June 08, 2020 in Chelmsford, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Dentist Dr Roy Woodhoo and Dental Nurse Charlie Coppen wear PPE to examine the first patient through the doors at Woodford Dental Care in north London, as the practice opens up for the first time since the UK went into coronavirus lockdown.
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Queen Elizabeth II attends a ceremony to mark her official birthday at Windsor Castle on June 13, 2020 in Windsor, England. The Queen celebrates her 94th birthday this year, in line with Government advice, it was agreed that The Queen's Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, would not go ahead in its traditional form. (Photo by Paul Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Members of the Welsh Guards perform in a ceremony to mark Britain's Queen Elizabeth's official birthday at Windsor Castle on June 13, 2020 in Windsor, England. The Queen celebrates her 94th birthday this year, in line with Government advice, it was agreed that The Queen's Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, would not go ahead in its traditional form. (Photo by Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The Queen heard about the isolation and difficulties carers are facing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mrs Taylor, 44, from London, who has been caring for more than two decades, 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 need have been cancelled.

Queen video call to carers
The Queen during the video call (Buckingham Palace/PA)

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

Describing the call, Mrs Taylor said before the Queen appeared there was a picture of the outside of Windsor Castle on the screen.

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

Mr Howells described how the etiquette for the royal video conference was decided.

"The Princess came on the call first and Her Majesty about 10 minutes later," he said.

"The palace wanted to follow formal etiquette in that Her Majesty would be the last to come into a room and the first to leave."

Queen video call to carers
The Princess Royal joined the call first (Buckingham Palace/PA)

The Queen had help from her private secretary, her top aide Sir Edward Young who has been staying at Windsor with the monarch as part of a reduced household dubbed HMS Bubble, to set up the arrangements.

Mr Howells revealed: "Prior to the princess joining, Her Majesty's private secretary called to set up their end and tuned the audio and camera off.

"He then came back on a little while later and turned the video on and said to the Princess Royal 'Your Royal Highness, Her Majesty the Queen is ready to join the call'. And then she because visible. "

In a video released on the monarchy's Twitter account, the Queen could 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."

Also on the call was Alexandra Atkins, 24, from Swansea, who has been a carer for 16 years, and looks after for her mother Helen who has Bechets Syndrome, as well all her father Keith and her grandmother.

Miss Atkins 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 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 call on June 4 was to mark Carers Week.

Anne is president of the Carers Trust, which provides support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.

There are approximately seven million unpaid carers in the UK, and with vulnerable members of society currently shielding at home, many carers have taken on new responsibilities.

Read Full Story Click here to comment

FROM OUR PARTNERS