“The queen still has episodic mobility problems, and in agreement with her doctors, she reluctantly decided not to attend the state opening of parliament tomorrow,” it said.
“At the request of Her Majesty and with the consent of the competent authorities, the Prince of Wales will read the Queen’s speech on behalf of Her Majesty, in the presence of the Duke of Cambridge,” the palace added.
The Queen’s speech, written by the government, is a significant event in the royal and political calendar.
Speech is one of the most important symbolic duties of the monarch and is a central part of the state opening ceremony of parliament.
Opening the Parliament is a key constitutional responsibility. This cannot happen without a monarch. The Queen had to transfer this responsibility to the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge, who are state advisers.
The speech was also used to present the government’s legislative agenda, and its content was hotly debated by lawmakers in the days that followed.
The decision not to attend the opening of the parliament was made on Monday, the royal source told CNN.
The Queen has been absent from the opening of Parliament on only two occasions since taking the throne in 1952-1959 and 1963, when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward respectively. On these occasions the speech was read by the Lord Chancellor.
The source said that she would not go into details about the Queen’s episodic mobility problems, but it would be correct to assume that these are a continuation of the problems she has been feeling since last fall.
The monarch withdrew from royal duties on the advice of a doctor to rest after a night in the hospital in October 2021 for an undisclosed reason. In recent months, she has also used a cane for several engagements.
The Queen recently revealed that she remained “very tired and exhausted” after the recent Covid-19 attack. She tested positive for the virus in February.
The 96-year-old monarch has a busy diary this week and is expected to take on some private engagements later in the week, according to the source.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne. She celebrated her birthday on April 21st.
The Queen is both the longest-serving British monarch and the longest-serving head of state in history.