January 4, 2017 / 10:45 AM / 7 months ago

Britain's Queen Elizabeth resumes duties as she recovers from cold

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Queen Elizabeth II visits Goodenough College, the leading residential community for British and international postgraduate students studying in London, Britain December 1, 2016.Stuart C. Wilson/Pool/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Queen Elizabeth has given an honour to a member of her staff in a private ceremony, resuming official duties as she continued to recover from a heavy cold that forced her to miss Christmas and New Year church services, a spokeswoman said.

The 90-year-old monarch fell ill before Christmas, delayed her trip from London to her country estate at Sandringham in eastern England by a day, then took the very rare decision not to attend the festive season church services.

She has not been seen in public since before she became unwell and Buckingham Palace has said she was recuperating from a heavy cold.

On Tuesday, the queen gave a member of her staff, Raymond Wheaton, the insignia of a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order, an honour that usually rewards personal service to her or the monarchy.

A spokeswoman said the private ceremony took place at Sandringham and no pictures were available.

The queen also sent a personal message of condolence on Tuesday to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan following the New Year's Eve attack on a nightclub in Istanbul that killed 39 people.

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Stephen Addison

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