Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau speaks with Queen about Philip

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The Queen has spoken with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, who noted the “special relationship” the Duke of Edinburgh had with the Commonwealth country.

The monarch, who is also Queen of Canada, spoke with Mr Trudeau on Friday, according to his official Twitter account.

It is understood the call was prompted by Mr Trudeau’s desire to pass on his condolences to the Queen.

Buckingham Palace has said the Queen faced “some very difficult” decisions as she selected the 30 guests permitted under Covid-19 rules, from the original 800-strong congregation.

The Canadian PM would likely have been among attendees at the funeral if it was not taking place during the pandemic.

Mr Trudeau’s office said: “The prime minister noted the special relationship the Duke of Edinburgh maintained with Canada over the years, including through more than 60 visits and close ties with the Canadian armed forces, and conveyed to Her Majesty that the thoughts of Canadians are with her and all members of the royal family in this time of grief.”

The Queen has a strong bond with Canada.

She is monarch of the Commonwealth realm and it has been her most frequent overseas destination.

She has visited more than 20 times, including a trip as a princess, but a number of years ago she called time on her official overseas visits.

As a young child in the 1970s, Mr Trudeau met the Queen several times through his father, Pierre Trudeau, who was one of Canada’s longest-serving prime ministers.

According to the court circular, the Queen also spoke to Australia’s governor-general David Hurley by telephone on Friday, while the Prince of Wales held a meeting via telephone with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Queen is continuing to work as she grieves and earlier this week expressed her sympathy with the people of a Caribbean nation following a series of violent volcanic eruptions.

The head of state said her prayers remained with the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines after thousands were evacuated after La Soufriere volcano began spewing ash into the atmosphere late last week.

In the past the Queen would have referred to herself and the duke in any message of condolence or sympathy, but following her bereavement the words of support poignantly began with “I”.

On Tuesday, she hosted her first in-person event since Philip’s passing on Friday to mark the retirement of her household’s most senior official, former Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel.

It was announced at the weekend the monarchy and their households would observe two weeks of royal mourning, with members of the family “continuing to undertake engagements appropriate to the circumstances,” a royal official said.

The Earl Peel had overseen arrangements for the duke’s funeral – known as Operation Forth Bridge – before handing responsibility to his successor, former MI5 spy chief Baron Parker, just over a week before Philip died peacefully at Windsor Castle.

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