Prince Charles has just given the very symbolic speech from the throne for the first time, in place of the queen. A handover of the sovereign more and more obvious.
Queen Elizabeth II will never abdicate, but she gradually hands over to her son Charles, who will succeed her one day. The Prince of Wales thus provided for the first time, in place of the sovereign, the traditional speech from the throne in Parliament on Tuesday. A moment described as “historic”, as it foreshadows the end of the long reign of the queen.
Increasingly physically diminished, the 96-year-old monarch has indeed had to give up exercise – for only the third time in her 70-year reign.
The Queen had long hoped to attend before Buckingham Palace announced on Monday evening that she had “reluctantly decided not to take part in the Speech from the Throne”, due to her “episodic mobility issues”.
This very symbolic event is the latest in a long list of official engagements which the queen has had to give up in recent months, for health reasons. The sovereign, who continues to make the decisions, thus gradually hands over to Prince Charles.
In recent weeks, the Queen, who has mobility problems, has been represented by Prince Wales at Easter Mass on April 14, but also on Commonwealth Day on May 24 or, at the end of 2021, on Remembrance Day, which celebrates the November 11 armistice.
As many appointments as the Queen only missed on very rare occasions during her reign, and where Prince Charles, one of the four “Counselors of State”, represented her alongside her wife Camilla, or, like this morning in Parliament, her son Prince William.
The Counselors of State, a function created by King George V in 1911, are the senior members of the royal family to whom the Queen can delegate her functions in the event of incapacity or absence. Four members of the royal family are currently Counselors of State, Prince Charles and Prince William, but also Princes Andrew and Harry.
If Andrew accompanied his mother during the tribute to Prince Philip, his reputation was tarnished by a sex scandal and the queen stripped him of his titles. As for Harry, he has left the country and is no longer a senior member of the royal family since stepping back. Both will also be absent from the balcony of Buckingham to attend the military parade of Trooping the color, Salut aux couleurs, officially celebrating the Queen’s birthday and her platinum jubilee.
Another sign that Queen Elizabeth II is organizing her succession, the queen chose the day of the 70th anniversary of the reign, February 6, 2022, to announce that Camilla, the wife of Charles, long hated by the British, would be queen consort.