The G7 Summit in Cornwall proved to be a light-hearted get together for the Royal Family. And the icing on the cake came during a special lunch engagement.
The Queen insisted on borrowing a ceremonial sword to cut a cake during the engagement – prompting laughter from her granddaughter in law Kate Middleton.
The monarch had been handed the sword by Edward Bolitho, the Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall, for the task of cutting a large cake marking the Big Lunch at the Eden Project.
When told by an aide that there was a conventional knife available, the Queen replied: “I know there is, this is more unusual”.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall who also witnessed the funny scene, commented: “That’s slicing through” before assisting with the final part of cutting the cake, which was loudly applauded by those at the event.
After handing the ceremonial sword back, the Queen used a knife to cut a second slice of cake and remarked: “That looks very good”.
Peter Stewart, executive director of the Eden Project, introduced around 20 guests who had been invited to the event to the three royals, The Mirror reports.
He said: It is like comets – they don’t come around very often. The important thing for me was there was every reason not to do it.
The fact that they judged that with the eyes of the G7 that there was an opportunity – with the risk of missing trains and everything else – to be able to listen to some of the heartfelt stories of people here.
It was absolutely priceless. Earlier, the Queen hosted a reception at the Eden Project, joined by the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Leaders including US President Joe Biden and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The Queen spoke to people at the Big Lunch event, held outdoors at a separate area of the Eden Project, about seeing the world leaders face-to-face after a year of restrictions of Covid-19 restrictions.
Mr Stewart described how the monarch discussed “communicating over Zoom and so-forth” due to coronavirus.
She was talking about the fact she usually meets world leaders, and she hasn’t met them for two years, and she brought that back to the importance of everyday life and getting to know our neighbours, he added.
The Big Lunch is an annual get-together for neighbours and communities, with people encouraged to share friendship, food, and get to know each other better.
The Duchess of Cornwall is patron of the event.
Over the past two years, it has run online due to Covid-19, but it will form an official part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations next year.
The lunch provided much-needed light relief for the Queen after a terrible few months for her family.
In April her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip passed away, and she had also had to deal with the fallout out from grandson Prince Harry numerous US interviews criticizing his upbringing.
Other guests who attended Friday’s engagement included key workers nominated for their services, particularly during Covid.
Mr Stewart said: There was a moment where Her Majesty was talking to a lady called Irene Rowe, who was a care worker for 20 years and caught Covid and recovered and has returned to work.
She came home and gave Covid to her husband, who sadly died. She asked Her Majesty how she was and gave sympathy to her for losing her own husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Mrs Rowe, 65, from Helston, spoke to both the Queen and Kate about the death of her husband Malcolm, 62, in February, reports The Mirror
After telling the Queen about her loss, she was asked how she was coping. “I said you have been the same – you’ve just carried on like I have,” Mrs Rowe, a grandmother-of-eight, said.
I said you have to carry on. I have good work, friends and family. People have been very kind. Kate touched my arm when I told her about my husband and said ‘oh no’.
She was really caring and very nice, they both were. “She asked if we got to see him in the hospital, and I said we couldn’t. We weren’t allowed to.”