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Queen Elizabeth II attends UK Cabinet meeting

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II greets David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party, at Buckingham Palace, London, in an audience to invite him to be the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, following last week's General Election, Tuesday May 11, 2010. (AP Photo/John Stillwell, Pool)
December 18, 2012 6:17:52 AM PST
Queen Elizabeth II sat in on a Cabinet meeting Tuesday for the first time, taking a seat between British Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague to observe the weekly discussion of government business.

Her visit is believed to be the first time a sitting monarch has attended a Cabinet meeting in at least 100 years.

Cabinet members presented her with a gift of 60 placemats in honor of her Diamond Jubilee.

The government said the queen attended Tuesday's meeting as an observer - not as a contributor - in honor of her 60 years on the throne. But her visit has raised some eyebrows for appearing to blur the traditional line between government and monarchy.

As head of state, the queen performs some ceremonial and formal duties related to government but must remain neutral on political matters.


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