Queen Elizabeth II, 96, will not deliver the traditional speech from the throne this Tuesday in the British Parliament. A first for sixty years.
An absence explained by difficulties in moving. “The Queen continues to have episodic mobility issues and, after consultation with her doctors, has reluctantly decided not to take part in the Speech from the Throne,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Monday evening.
A missed appointment which raises questions about her state of health when the monarch has only missed this solemn event twice throughout her reign. The first time in 1959 and the second in 1963, because she was pregnant.
Her son Charles replaces her
For the first time, it is her son Charles who replaces her during this important and extremely codified meeting of British democracy, during which the Queen usually sets out the government’s program. “At the request of Her Majesty and with the agreement of the competent authorities, the Prince of Wales will read the Speech from the Throne on her behalf, together with the Duke of Cambridge (Prince William, the Queen’s grandson, second in the order of succession to the throne) also present,” the palace noted.
Contrary to protocol, the eldest son of Elizabeth II will not read this speech from the throne. The latter will remain empty and Charles will speak from his usual seat. A departure from this millimeter appointment, which according to the Daily Mail shows that the queen “is still in charge”, specifying however that it is “a historic moment for the crown”. Because if for several years, Prince Charles has represented the monarch abroad, this replacement is a new sign of the transfer of his tasks to his son.
From a political point of view, with this speech from the throne, which reveals the main lines of the government’s programme, Prime Minister Boris Johnson intends to curb criticism of him and his party, which has lost some 500 seats in recent local elections. Thirty-eight bills will be presented.