UK queen celebrates Commonwealth Day after illness

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 11, 2013 at 4:22 pm •  Published: March 11, 2013
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LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II attended a London reception to celebrate Commonwealth Day on Monday, her first public appearance since she was briefly hospitalized for a stomach illness.

The monarch appeared in good spirits, although earlier in the day she had to pull out of a service at Westminster Abbey. Buckingham Palace officials said the 86-year-old queen was still getting over a bout of gastroenteritis that led to her first hospitalization in a decade last week.

Wearing a mint and silver ensemble, Elizabeth made a brief speech at the ceremony held at Marlborough House in central London. After that she signed a new charter setting out the Commonwealth's values and commitment to equal rights.

The document, agreed upon by the group's 54 member states, commits them to upholding principles, including democracy, rule of law and gender equality.

Earlier Monday, Prince Philip, the queen's 91-year-old husband, attended the service at the abbey, where he was joined by 2,000 guests, including Commonwealth ambassadors.