Queen to miss Opening of Parliament for first time in 60 years
- Credit: PA
Buckingham Palace has announced that the Queen will miss tomorrow's State Opening of Parliament for the first time in nearly 60 years.
The monarch, 96, reluctantly pulled out as she continues to experience “episodic mobility problems” with her doctors advising against attending.
Though the Queen’s main throne will remain empty in the House of Lords, the Prince of Wales will read the Queen’s Speech for the first time.
The move, unprecedented in modern history, will be interpreted as a significant shift in his responsibilities as a king-in-waiting.
The Duke of Cambridge will also attend the State Opening for the first time and the Duchess of Cornwall will accompany Charles.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “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.”
- 1 Harpenden neighbours condemn plans for builders merchant next to residential properties
- 2 Woman found in canal near M25 in Hertfordshire
- 3 Revealed: Most popular Deliveroo takeaway dishes in St Albans
- 4 Train timetable shakeup due in St Albans and Watford from May 15
- 5 Police ‘concerned’ as 25-year-old goes missing from Stevenage
- 6 Cash stolen from parked car on Harpenden Road in St Albans
- 7 Nearly 100 motorway cameras upgraded to catch drivers who flout red X rules
- 8 David Carrick appears at Westminster Magistrates' charged with three rapes
- 9 FULL RESULTS: Lib Dem landslide in St Albans council elections
- 10 Medals, fast times and great performances for St Albans swimmers at championships
It would be only the third time during her reign that the Queen has not opened parliament – and the first time in nearly 60 years.
The exceptions were in 1959 and 1963, when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and then Prince Edward, when her speech was read by the Lord Chancellor.
The episodic mobility issues are said to be a continuation of the problems the Queen has suffered since the autumn.
The Queen has only been seen outside a royal residence or home on official duties once in the last seven months when she attended the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service in March, using a stick as she walked carefully to her seat.
Many of her light duties are now carried out by video calls, and the nation’s longest reigning sovereign remarked during a recent in-person audience: “Well, as you can see, I can’t move.”
After spending a night in hospital in October, the Queen was given doctors’ orders to rest for three months. She missed the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph service and Cop26 climate change talks.