Queen Elizabeth II seen using a cane during Westminster Abbey service

Associated Press

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II was seen using a walking stick at a major public event for the first time Tuesday, when she attended a Westminster Abbey service marking the centenary of the Royal British Legion, an armed forces charity.

The 95-year-old monarch was photographed using a cane 2003, although that was after she underwent knee surgery.

The queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, handed her the mobility device after they both stepped out of a limousine for the service in central London. The queen, who wore a royal blue wool coat with a matching hat, smiled and appeared to move freely as she walked to her seat in the church.

She entered the abbey through the Poet’s Yard entrance instead of the customary Great West Door. Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrives to attend a Service of Thanksgiving to mark the Centenary of the Royal British Legion at Westminster Abbey in London on October 12, 2021. - The Royal British Legion has been celebrating its 100th Anniversary throughout 2021 with a special programme of activity, paying tribute to those who have contributed to its proud history and celebrating with the communities across the UK and around the world who are at its heart. (Photo by Frank Augstein / POOL / AFP) (Photo by FRANK AUGSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 0 ORIG FILE ID: AFP_9PK3V9.jpg

The queen and Anne joined a congregation that included serving military personnel, veterans and their families from the U.K. and Commonwealth countries.

The service highlighted the work of the Royal British Legion, which was founded in 1921 to care for service members and their families after World War I.

More:Queen Elizabeth returns to palace to launch baton relay for 2022 Commonwealth Games

Queen Elizabeth II has made a few  public appearances in 2021. Last week she held her first major engagement at Buckingham Palace since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic a year and a half ago, as she presided over the launch of the baton relay for next year's Commonwealth Games. 

More:Queen Elizabeth II opens Parliament in low-key ritual, first ceremonial duty since Prince Philip's death

She handed the baton for what are often referred to as the "friendly games" to four-time Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox, who is fresh from winning two events in Tokyo.

The Birmingham 2022 Queen's Baton Relay, as it is formally known, will embark on its 90,000-mile (145,000 kilometer) journey around the world.