London | Queen Elizabeth II, 94, made her first trip out of Windsor Castle on Wednesday since her COVID-19 vaccination and met pilots she asked if they were “chasing the Russians”.
Unmasked, the monarch marked the centenary of the Australian Air Force, the country of which she is the sovereign, by visiting a military memorial in the south of England.
Questioning a squadron leader about his work, she asked him if he was “sent to hunt the Russians”.
“It’s okay, madam, we’re having fun!” »Replied the soldier.
The British Air Force has recently had to intercept a growing number of Russian aircraft approaching UK airspace, amid high tensions between Moscow and London.
Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, 99, received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in January. Buckingham Palace has not communicated on a possible second dose, given in the country 12 weeks after the first.
For the past year, the couple have spent most of their time confined to Windsor Castle due to the pandemic. The Queen made some very rare trips during this period, but mostly participated in virtual meetings.
Elizabeth II, who turns 95 on April 21, will not be entitled to the traditional military parade in central London this year to celebrate the occasion.