AceShowbiz - Queen Elizabeth was without her walking stick when she met the president of Switzerland on Thursday, April 27. The 96-year-old monarch has relied on the mobility aid for support in many of her recent engagements but she was seen standing unassisted as she shook hands and posed for photographs with Ignazio Cassis and his wife Paola in the Oak Room at Windsor Castle.
The engagement was the queen's first since she returned to Windsor on Wednesday, April 27 following a week-long break at her Sandringham estate.
Buckingham Palace has confirmed the queen is hoping to attend the State Opening of Parliament on 10 May, but confirmation is expected closer to the time or even on the day as she has experienced a number of health issues and mobility difficulties in recent months.
The sovereign has opened parliament every year but two during her reign. She sat out the 1959 and 1963 ceremonies when pregnant with Princes Andrew and Edward, and so on those occasions, the Lord Chancellor read out her speech.
It was revealed last month the queen has taken delivery of a state-of-the-art golf buggy to help her move around in comfort.
The 43mph four-seater electric cart was built by Danish firm Garia as part of a tie-up with Mercedes-Benz and is described as putting "many passenger cars to shame."
It has a range of 50 miles before its battery needs recharging and while she's relaxing on one of the four brown leather seats, the queen can tuck into treats from its fridge, or check for weather updates and mapping on the tablet-style 10in screen next to the steering wheel.
The buggy has "weather enclosure" doors and windows, so the monarch will be able to use it all-year round, and it also has headlights, 14in alloy wheels, a lockable boot, heated windscreen, cup holders and even Bluetooth speakers.
A source said, "The cart is a new addition to the castle, and they all think it's a great idea. It's certainly fit for a Queen and hopefully it will help her fulfil her engagements."
"Everyone wants her to carry on for as long as possible being seen by the public," the source dished. "I'm sure the Queen would rather walk to events and carry on as normal, but she is struggling at the moment."
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother regularly used a golf buggy to attend events in the years before her death aged 101 in 2002.