“The Queen continues to have occasional mobility issues and, in consultation with her doctors, has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the official opening of Parliament tomorrow,” the statement read.
The palace added that “at the request of Her Majesty the Queen and with the approval of the concerned authorities, the Prince of Wales will read the Queen’s address on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen in the presence of the Duke of Cambridge.”
The Queen’s Speech, written by the government, is an important event in both the royal and political calendars.
The speech is one of the king’s most important symbolic duties and forms the cornerstone of Parliament’s official opening ceremony.
The opening of Parliament is a major constitutional responsibility. It cannot happen without the king. The Queen had to delegate this responsibility to the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge, who are both state advisors.
The speech is also used to present the government’s legislative agenda, and lawmakers debate its contents vigorously for several days afterward.
A royal source told CNN that the Queen’s decision not to attend the opening of Parliament was made on Monday.
The Queen has only missed the opening of Parliament on two occasions since she took the throne in 1952 – in 1959 and 1963, when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward respectively. On those occasions, the letter was read by Mr. Chancellor.
The source said they won’t go into any detail about the occasional Queen’s mobility issues, but it would be correct to assume it’s a continuation of the issues she’s been feeling since last fall.
The King took a step back from his royal duties on the advice of doctors to rest after spending a night in the hospital in October 2021 for an undisclosed reason. The walking stick has also been used in many posts in recent months.
The Queen recently revealed that she has become “very tired and exhausted” in the wake of the recent bout of Covid-19. She tested positive for the virus in February.
The source said the 96-year-old has a busy diary this week and is expected to make some private engagements later in the week.
This year marks 70 years since the Queen took the throne. She celebrated her birthday on April 21st.
The Queen is the longest-reigning British monarch and the longest-running female head of state in history.
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