Prince Charles will read the Queen’s speech on behalf of the 96-year-old monarch
The Queen will miss the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in almost 60 years as the Prince of Wales read the Queen’s speech for the first time, Buckingham Palace has announced.
Her Majesty will no longer attend the annual event, which is due to take place tomorrow, due to “episodic mobility issues”.
The monarch has had to cancel many public engagements in recent months for health reasons.
This is only the third time the Queen has missed the State Opening of Parliament since ascending the throne in 1952, the only other time being when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew in 1959 and Prince Edward in 1963.
What did Buckingham Palace say?
Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “The Queen continues to suffer from episodic mobility issues and, in consultation with her doctors, has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow.
“At the request of Her Majesty and with the consent of the relevant authorities, the Prince of Wales will read the Queen’s speech on behalf of Her Majesty, with the Duke of Cambridge also present.”
The episodic mobility issues are said to be a continuation of the problems the Queen has been suffering since the fall.
The Queen is understood to have a busy diary in Windsor this week, with a phone call to Australia on Monday and a virtual Privy Council and telephone audience with the Prime Minister planned on Wednesday.
She is expected to take on some private engagements later in the week.
Who will replace the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament?
A new patent approved by the Queen has been issued to cover the opening of state, giving the Councilors of State the royal function of opening a new session of Parliament.
In this case, it allows Charles and William to perform this function together. No other functions were delegated by the Queen.
The decision was made today.
Symbolically, the Queen’s throne in the House of Lords remains empty during the ceremony, while Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall sit in their usual seats.
Prince William will sit on Camilla’s other side.
How is the queen?
Questions about Her Majesty’s health have been raised after several public appearances had to be canceled in recent months.
She fell ill with Covid-1 in February 2022, with Buckingham Palace confirming she was suffering from “mild cold-like symptoms”.
The Queen was forced to cancel work commitments while recovering from the virus before accepting commitments virtually.
Since recovering, the Queen has continued to work but has restricted her personal activities due to ongoing mobility issues.
The last time she was seen in public was on March 29, 2022 at a special memorial service at Westminster Abbey in memory of her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.
However, alongside her virtual engagements, the Queen has continued to host official audiences in person at Winsdor Castle, including meetings with heads of state.
The monarch made her move to Windsor Castle permanent after initially moving temporarily during the pandemic.