Just hours before the National Festival of Remembrance on Sunday, the Queen was forced to cancel her attendance due to a sprained back. It was just the seventh time, since Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953, that she misses a Remembrance Sunday service.
The news came after Her Majesty’s ill-health caused her to cancel a string of formal engagements since October 20, almost four weeks ago.
Royal expert Jennie Bond told the BBC that plans around the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee are being closely examined in the wake of the Monarch’s recent health concerns.
She said: “The priority has got to be obviously the Queen’s health and the Queen’s safety.
“I think what we’re seeing now is a gradual transition of responsibility from the Queen to Prince Charles, Prince William, and other senior members of the royal family.
“They are taking on more responsibilities and therefore will be at the forefront of celebrations and the Queen will pop up here and there for the big days themselves.”
Ms Bond emphasised that technology such as video calling will enable the Queen to continue her duties, working more comfortably from home.
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Due to ill-health, the Queen was unable to travel to Glasgow to address delegates from across the world at COP26, but instead spoke in a video message.
Prince Charles, however, delivered a powerful speech on stage at the opening ceremony of COP26.
He said: “Ladies and Gentlemen, my plea today is for countries to come together to create the environment that enables every sector of industry to take the action required.”
In the Queen’s video address, she stated that she “could not be more proud” of her son, Prince Charles, for the 40 years of climate activism he has conducted.
But there has been no sign from the Royal Firm that the Queen intends to hand down all of her royal duties to her 73-year-old son.
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In the wake of ill-health and after her beloved Prince Philip’s passing, the Queen has soldiered on, and royal insiders say calls for her retirement are “patronising”.
Royal journalist and expert, Dickie Arbiter, said: “Anybody who decides to tell the Queen ‘You’ve got to step back, you can’t rule anymore’ is really fighting with fire.”
Royal historian Hugo Vickers insisted earlier this year that the Queen will never retire, and certainly won’t step aside from royal duties before the Platinum Jubilee in 2022, celebrating the 70th year of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.
He said: “One main reason why the Queen will absolutely not abdicate is unlike other European monarchs, she is an anointed Queen, and if you are an anointed Queen, you do not abdicate.
“It would be completely illogical to abdicate just before that extraordinary anniversary, it’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate, and I would hope she would be feeling up to that.”
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The Queen completed 136 engagements in 2020, which was a decrease from the 293 engagements she attended in 2018 – is now the time to reduce her schedule more? Have your say in the comments section.
So far this year, Prince Charles and Princess Anne have completed well over 100 engagements each, in a time when Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Prince Andrew have all stepped back from royal duties.
Prince William and Kate have also stepped up to the plate, hosting the Earthshot Awards and putting the environment, young people, and the Armed Forces at the top of their agenda.
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