The Queen, like the political classes, was watching and waiting on Tuesday. But unlike the massed ranks of MPs, she was also getting on with business as usual.
The day opened with the presentation of new colours to the Ist Battalion of the Grenadier Guards in Buckingham Palace garden, followed by lunch at nearby Wellington Barracks.
And while the talks between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats dragged on in an attempt to form a new government, the wheels of one of its oldest parts – the Privy Council – kept turning.
At 5pm, the Queen attended a long planned meeting of the council, alongside Lord Mandelson, the president of the council. It is usually attended by a handful of ministers, its job being to advise the Queen on the use of her remaining prerogative powers.
The palace said she was being kept up to date on developments “on a regular basis” by Christopher Geidt, her private secretary, who was being kept in the loop by Sir Gus O’Donnell, Cabinet secretary.