But why was the plan changed at such short notice and why didn’t the Queen decide last week to send her son and grandson? The palace spokesman gave the reason for her “mobility problems” that she had at times. The decision was made on Monday in consultation with her doctors. The Queen had hoped to be able to attend until the very end and was “reluctant” to cancel.
It is well known that the 96-year-old has been struggling with health problems in recent months. During an appearance in February, she explained that she feels a little stiff, often has movement problems and one foot gives her problems. At that time she was leaning on a walking stick.
A wheelchair is out of the question
Since 2016, the Queen no longer uses the stairs at the opening of Parliament, but the elevator. This time, too, there was a plan to make it easier for her to go to the House of Lords – the British upper house – because it is quite long. She would have had to walk from the entrance to Parliament building through the Robing Room, then through the Royal Gallery to the British House of Lords. According to the media, a “private wheelchair-accessible route” was also discussed.
But even if she had used a wheelchair behind the scenes, she would have had to walk into the room at the end. Although it is said that she does not want to publicly resort to a wheelchair anyway. Experts believe that is their biggest fear. The Briton is very proud and doesn’t want to show the people any weakness.
The fact that the Queen waited until shortly before handing over the speech to Prince Charles could also be due to the fact that the opening of Parliament is one of the monarch’s most important public tasks. She had only had to cancel this appointment twice during her reign – during her pregnancies in 1959 and 1963.
Is she canceling because of her anniversary?
There are also upcoming plans that could be even more important than the opening of Parliament – and for which the Queen definitely wants to be fit enough: At the beginning of June, the 70th anniversary of the throne of the 96-year-old will be celebrated in England over several days. Also Prince Harry and his family are due to travel from the US for this grand royal event. On this occasion, the multiple grandmother meets her granddaughter Lilibet, the daughter of Harry and Meghan, for the first time.