Due to her “episodic mobility problems,” the 96-year-old monarch, Queen Elizabeth, will not be attending the Opening of Parliament. The decision was revealed via a Monday statement from Buckingham Palace. “The Queen continues to experience episodic mobility problems, and in consultation with her doctors has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow,” the statement read.
“At Her Majesty’s request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, The Prince of Wales will read The Queen’s speech on Her Majesty’s behalf, with The Duke of Cambridge also in attendance,” they added. The Opening of Parliament is part of the Queen’s constitutional responsibility, and it cannot happen without her. Instead, she has delegated the responsibility to The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Cambridge, both of the state’s counselors.
This is the third time the Queen will be absent from the opening of Parliament
The Palace has refused to give further details about the Queen’s ailment. However, it is reported that her decision to pull out of the opening of Parliament is related to the health problems she suffered last year.
Ever since she ascended the throne in 1952, the Queen has only been absent from the opening of Parliament twice. In 1959 and 1963, the two occasions happened when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, respectively. On those occasions, the speech was read by the Lord Chancellor. The Queen has also been using a walking stick at several engagements in recent months. This is coming after she tested positive for COVID-19 in February, shortly after Prince Charles tested positive.
While attending the opening of Royal London Hospital’s Queen Elizabeth Unit, the Queen spoke more about the symptoms she was experiencing. “It does leave one very tired and exhausted, doesn’t it?” She said in April. “This horrible pandemic. It’s not a nice result.” The Queen was also hospitalized in October, after which she was forced to take two weeks of rest.
In the past week, it was also announced that the Queen would not attend the traditional summer garden parties at Buckingham Palace. However, she would still have her regular audiences with the Privy Council and the Prime Minister virtually and by phone.
Platinum Jubilee Celebrations
The Queen has a busy schedule in the following month as the royal family prepares for her Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have also confirmed their attendance, alongside their children, Archie and Lili. The couple will not appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony as part of the opening celebrations.
The Palace stated that the monarch will be joined only by “members of the Royal Family who are currently undertaking official public duties.” This year marks 70 years since she ascended the throne. She is the longest-reigning British monarch and the longest-serving female head of state in history.
There will be four days of celebration in June to mark her Platinum Jubilee. Even though the Palace said that she was planning to attend most major events scheduled for the celebrations, her presence would remain unconfirmed until the day. The event will allow people throughout the United Kingdom to come together for the historic milestone.