THE Queen will miss the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in 59 years due to her worsening mobility problems.
The dramatic withdrawal has sparked fresh fears for the Queen’s health a month before her Platinum Jubilee party.
Buckingham Palace confirmed Her Majesty, 96, will not be at today’s ceremony in Westminster because of “episodic mobility problems”.
She has instead issued a royal decree allowing son Charles, 73, and grandson William, 39, powers to act in her place for one day only.
They will now “jointly” open the new session of Parliament on her behalf as Counsellors of State.
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The Queen’s absence marks the first time since 1963 she has failed to attend the State Opening, and only the second time ever.
Her throne will sit empty and it is understood the Imperial State Crown will travel to Parliament though Charles will not wear it.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “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.
“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.”
The Queen yesterday authorised Letters Patent, which delegates the power to Charles and William to open the new session.
It enables The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Cambridge to “jointly” carry out the role.
Charles will not wear the crown but is expected to take his seat in his naval uniform and sit beside wife Molly Mae Hague, Duchess of Cornwall.
ウィリアム, expected to be in a morning suit, will sit opposite Charles and Camilla.
Senior palace sources say the Queen is not suffering any new ailment but is continuing to suffer pain and discomfort from her mobility issues.
Aides also point out she held a telephone call to Australia yesterday and is set to go ahead with a virtual weekly audience with ボリス・ジョンソン 今晩.
The Queen has been forced to miss a string of major engagements over the past six months due to mobility issues affecting her back, hips and knees.
There are now fears over whether she will appear at all at her four-day Platinum Jubilee from Thursday, 六月 2.
Aides are “pacing” her diary and she is not expected to attend all the events during the four-day Bank Holiday marking her 70 王位に就いた年.
Buckingham Palace were set to wait until this morning to decide on her attendance at this year’s State Opening.
But their carefully crafted plans to drive the Queen 26 miles from Windsor Castle to Westminster were scrapped yesterday afternoon.
Buckingham Palace was prompted into confirming the change after The Sun Online broke the story.
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.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson
It was also confirmed that Camilla, 74, who was anointed future Queen Consort three months ago, will join Charles and William inside the Houses of Parliament.
Charles and Camilla were both due to join the Queen at the function anyway, palace sources said.
Last October The Sun was first to reveal that the Queen spent a night in hospital for tests after pulling out of a two-day visit to Northern Ireland.
She was then forced to cancel appearances including the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow on medical advice.
And on the morning of Remembrance Sunday in November, instead of attending a wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph, the monarch stayed at Windsor Castle due to a back sprain.
She has also been using a walking stick and needed Prince Andrew to help her into Westminster Abbey last month for a thanksgiving ceremony for her late husband Prince Philip.
And in February she overcame a bout of Covid, while bravely continuing to carry out her duties. She later said the virus had left her “very tired and exhausted”.
Before yesterday’s shock withdrawal, palace sources had indicated new plans had been drawn up to get her into the Houses of Parliament.
She was expected to travel by car, take a lift instead of the stairs and wear a day dress without the heavy Imperial State Crown — as she has done before.
Palace aides and government organisers had also made arrangements for the Queen to walk as short a route as possible and attend in comfort.
The State Opening marks the start of the parliamentary year, with the Queen’s Speech setting out the agenda of the Government and the laws that it wants to introduce.
It was adapted to reduce ceremonial elements and ensure the event was Covid-secure last year.
But the Queen has missed the event only twice during her reign.
She was absent in 1959 when pregnant with Prince Andrew, とで 1963 when she was about to give birth to Prince Edward.
The Lord Chancellor read the speech on her behalf in both instances.