Buckingham Palace have confirmed that Her Majesty The Queen will miss the State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday for only the third time in her reign. Due to “episodic mobility issues” Her Majesty will miss the state event and instead the Queen’s Speech will be read by The Prince of Wales on The Queen’s behalf.
Her Majesty The Queen has opened every session of Parliament in her reign except in 1959 and 1963 when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward respectively. On those two occasions, the sessions were opened by the Lords Commissioners, while the Lord Chancellor read the Queen’s Speech.
The Prince of Wales will be accompanied by The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duke of Cambridge will also be in attendance.
It is reported that Buckingham Palace were willing to wait until Tuesday morning to make the final decision with aides having prepared contingency plans for The Queen to attend including a “discrete wheelchair route” however it is understood The Queen is having too much difficulty walking and so will not attend.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson commented, “The Queen continues to experience episodic mobility problems, and in consultation with her doctors has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow. At Her Majesty’s request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, The Prince of Wales will read The Queen’s speech on Her Majesty’s behalf, with The Duke of Cambridge also in attendance.”
A new Letters Patent was issued by The Queen to cover the State Opening delegating to Counsellors of State the royal function of opening a new session of Parliament. In this instance, it allows The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Cambridge to exercise this function.
The news comes just days after it was announced that Her Majesty would not attend any of this year’s garden parties at Buckingham Palace and will instead be represented by other members of The Royal Family.
The Queen is expected to take part in some virtual and private engagements later on this week.