It’s one of the most important events in the Queen’s diary: the opening of Parliament. But this time Elizabeth II will not give her speech in a traditional way. The 96-year-old canceled her participation at short notice.
Queen Elizabeth II has been struggling with health problems for months. In the fall of last year, she even had to spend a night in the hospital. In February she was also infected with Corona. Since then, the 96-year-old has regularly been represented by family members at public appearances or attended virtual audiences from Windsor Castle.
However, the monarch did not want to miss an appointment on May 10: the opening of parliament, where she traditionally read the government statement of the respective prime minister in the so-called “Queen’s Speech”. The opening of the new session is accompanied by great pomp. Members of Parliament and Lords gather together for the declaration in the House of Lords, which is equipped with a throne.
Charles and William represent the Queen
A few days ago, a Buckingham Palace spokesman confirmed the Queen’s attendance. Now the short-term cancellation: The Queen still suffers from mobility problems at times and will therefore not take part in the appointment in consultation with her doctors, according to the palace. Since 2016, the Queen has used the elevator instead of the stairs when visiting Parliament. At the moment, that doesn’t seem possible either.
However, an emergency plan had already been drawn up behind the scenes for precisely this case. In addition to the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, who is now reading the speech instead of his mother, should also Prince William be present at the opening of Parliament. The Queen has only missed this important date twice in her seven-decade reign – in 1959 and 1963 because she was pregnant, the last time almost 60 years ago.