the Queen absent for the throne speech on Tuesday, for the first time in 59 years

Queen Elizabeth only missed the speech twice, in 1959 and 1963, due to her pregnancies.

It hadn’t happened since 1963. Queen Elizabeth will be absent this Tuesday for the speech from the throne in Parliament, a solemn meeting of British democracy, announced Buckingham Palace, citing the monarch’s “mobility problems”. . The sovereign will be replaced by her son, Prince Charles.

“The Queen continues to have episodic mobility issues and, after consultation with her doctors, has reluctantly decided not to participate in the Speech from the Throne,” the palace said in a statement.

It is the first time in more than sixty years that the 96-year-old Queen will not read the Speech from the Throne, written by the government to outline its priorities. It is also the first time that Prince Charles, heir to the crown, will replace her. Queen Elizabeth II only missed this appointment twice during her reign, when she was pregnant in 1959 and 1963.

“At Her Majesty’s request and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, the Prince of Wales will read the Speech from the Throne on her behalf, with the Duke of Cambridge (Prince William, the Queen’s grandson) also present,” said the palace.

Gradual transfer of tasks to Prince Charles

This absence, the year of the platinum jubilee celebrations for her 70 years on the throne, marks a new symbolic stage in the gradual transfer of the sovereign’s tasks to Prince Charles, who has already represented her abroad for several years.

Since a brief hospitalization in October, Elizabeth II’s appearances have become extremely rare, although she continues to carry out “light duties” at Windsor Castle, mostly by videoconference.

On March 29, however, she attended a religious ceremony in Westminster Abbey in honor of Prince Philip. It was his first major public appearance in months.

The monarch, seen with a cane in recent months, had herself confided in mid-February that she “could not move”, showing her left leg during an audience in Windsor.