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Cabinet welcomes the Queen with Buckingham Palace mats

The Queen sits next to Prime Minister David Cameron. Picture by Jeremy Selwyn The Queen sits next to Prime Minister David Cameron. Picture by Jeremy Selwyn

Tim Dickens
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
1:03 PM

The Queen has become the first monarch since the 18th Century to attend a meeting of the Cabinet.

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The Queen sits next to Prime Minister David Cameron. Picture by Jeremy SelwynThe Queen sits next to Prime Minister David Cameron. Picture by Jeremy Selwyn

She took a seat around the Cabinet table next to Prime Minister David Cameron for the weekly discussion of Government business this morning.

Cabinet ministers stood around the table while the Queen was shown into the room by Mr Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

After waiting for the Queen to take her seat, the Cabinet followed suit and the Prime Minister offered her a “very warm welcome”.

“On behalf of everyone, I would like to congratulate you on a fantastic jubilee year,” he said.

The Queen leaves 10 Downing Street with Foreign Secretary William Hague  Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PAThe Queen leaves 10 Downing Street with Foreign Secretary William Hague Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA

The Queen, who did not speak during opening remarks, was wearing a Stewart Parvin royal blue wool dress and matching coat, and a sapphire and diamond broach.

According to Downing Street, ministers gave the Queen 60 table mats with images of Buckingham Palace as a gift.

A donation was also made to the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, set up as part of the celebrations to mark her 60 years on the throne.

The Foreign Office has also announced that an area of British Antarctica has been named Queen Elizabeth Land.

The Queen spoke twice during Cabinet.

During discussions about the next Queen’s Speech, she suggested it should be on the shorter side, Mr Cameron’s spokesman said. And before leaving she wished ministers a happy Christmas.

The Prime Minister congratulated her on her “fantastic” Diamond Jubilee year, and said the last monarch to visit the Cabinet was believed to have been George III in 1781.

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