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Wednesday, 23 January, 2002, 23:16 GMT
Queen Mother misses engagement
The Queen (left) and the Queen Mother
The Queen Mother missed a Women's Institute tea
A bad cold has forced the Queen Mother to cancel one of her regular engagements in Norfolk.

The 101-year-old, who has not been seen in public for more than two months, is confined to her room with the bug.

She was not feeling strong enough to come this afternoon

Yvonne Browne, Women's Institute
The Queen Mother had been due to attend a meeting of the Women's Institute at the Royal Family's home on the Sandringham Estate on Wednesday.

The Queen attended and passed on her mother's disappointment that she could not be present.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: "Queen Elizabeth did not attend today's Women's Institute meeting at Sandringham House.

"She is still resting from the bug she caught at Christmas and continuing her recovery."

The Queen Mother's last public engagement was on 22 November when she re-commissioned the aircraft carrier Ark Royal at a ceremony in Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Queen Mother leaves hospital August 2000
The Queen Mother was in hospital last year
She has not attended any church services in recent weeks.

Yvonne Browne, vice-president of the Sandringham Women's Institute, said the Queen Mother had been due to meet members with the Queen in the ballroom at Sandringham House.

But Mrs Browne said an estate official had told members that the Queen Mother, president of the WI branch for 65 years, was not well enough to attend.

The meeting is usually held in the local village hall but it was decided to move the venue because the hall was too cold.

Mrs Browne said: "She was not feeling strong enough to come this afternoon.

"She was quite naturally disappointed that she couldn't come because she does look forward to the January meeting very much.

"The Queen came to the meeting and she was asked to convey her greetings to us. She hoped that we had a lovely afternoon at Sandringham House."

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