Queen makes first appearance since Oprah
The Queen has spoken out for the first time since the explosive Harry and Meghan row as she watched NASA's Mars footage.
Her Majesty appeared to delighted to watch glimpses of the Red Planet beamed back to her laptop in Windsor Castle and replied, "It's very rock strewn, isn't it?"
British scientists who worked on the NASA Mars Perseverance Rover described to the Queen how they were looking for signs of life.
Watching footage from 128 million miles away, she said, "Fascinating. To see the pictures of Mars, unbelievable really to think one can actually see its surface."
Her comments come amid the fall out from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
During their chat with Oprah, the Sussexes claimed that Meghan had suffered racism from a member of the Royal family and that pressure had driven her to consider suicide.
But the Queen is said to be backing Prince William after he insisted the royals were "very much not a racist family".
The Firm has been divided by the Oprah interview but Her Majesty appeared to show little sign of strain as she spoke to British scientists today.
The 94-year-old monarch recalled meeting Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin - the first man in space - at Buckingham Palace in 1961.
The Queen said, "I did. I did indeed yes. It was very interesting to meet him."
Asked by Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, of BBC's The Sky at Night, to tell her what the space pioneer was like, the Queen replied, "Russian".
She added, "He didn't speak English. But no no, he was fascinating. And I suppose being the first one it was particularly fascinating."
Dr Aderin-Pocock said, "I also think it must have been very terrifying to be the first one and not knowing what's really going to happen."
The Queen replied, "Yes - could you come back again. Very important."
Dr Aderin-Pocock said, "Yes, it's one thing going but coming back is good."
The Queen replied, "Exactly."
Her Majesty, watching on a computer from Windsor Castle, was shown footage from the Red Planet from the NASA Perseverance Rover including a four-billion-year-old crater.
Prof Caroline Smith, of the Natural History Museum, said, "Perseverance Rover, the Mars 2020 mission's main aim is to look for evidence of past life on Mars which I just think is absolutely thrilling."
The Queen replied, "It's very rock-strewn isn't it."
Via the web call she was shown a meteorite which landed in Gloucestershire last week.
Prof Smith said, "So I'd just like to show you this image. So this is an image of one of the meteorite fragments that was found.
"So at about five to nine last Sunday evening a large fireball was seen across a huge amount of the United Kingdom and pieces of meteorite actually fell in Gloucestershire, just north of Cheltenham."
Show images of the meteorite, she said, "Fascinating."
Children let off makeshift rockets made from plastic bottles.
The Queen laughed and said, "Splendid. Well that's been very interesting to hear and I hope the children have enjoyed it too.
"They might learn something from it as well.
"I think it's fascinating to see the pictures of Mars, unbelievable really to think one can actually see its surface.
"Well it's been a very interesting morning, thank you very much indeed.
"And it's wonderful work you're all doing. It's a great pleasure to see you all."
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission
Originally published as Queen makes first appearance since Oprah