Due to mobility problems, Queen Elizabeth will not attend the opening of parliament

Due to mobility problems, Queen Elizabeth will not attend the opening of parliament

Queen Elizabeth II will not attend the traditional opening of Parliament on Tuesday due to mobility issues. “The Queen continues to have episodic mobility problems and has sadly decided not to attend the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow in consultation with her doctors,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Monday. “The Prince of Wales will read The Queen’s speech on Her Majesty’s behalf, with The Duke of Cambridge also in attendance, at Her Majesty’s request and with the approval of the required authorities,” the Palace stated. The government-written Queen’s Speech is a major event on the royal and political calendars.

The Queen has been absent from the opening of Parliament on only two occasions since she took the throne in 1952 — in 1959 and 1963 when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward respectively. On those occasions, the speech was read by the Lord Chancellor. The monarch took a step back from royal duties on advice from doctors to rest following an overnight hospital stay in October 2021 for an undisclosed reason. She has also used a walking stick at several engagements in recent months. The Queen recently revealed that she was left “very tired and exhausted” following a recent bout of Covid-19. She tested positive for the virus in February.

The speech is one of the monarch’s most important symbolic duties and forms the centerpiece of the State Opening of Parliament ceremony. Opening Parliament is a key constitutional responsibility. It can’t happen without the monarch. The Queen has had to delegate that responsibility to The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Cambridge, who are counsellors of state. The speech is also used to introduce the government’s legislative agenda, and its contents are fiercely debated by lawmakers for days afterwards. This year also marks 70 years since the Queen took the throne. She celebrated her birthday on April 21. The Queen is both the longest-reigning British monarch and the longest-serving female head of state in history.

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