Poignant reason why Queen is set to miss landmark event for first time in six decades

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Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images

The Queen will not take part in today's state opening of parliament for the first time in six decades due to her ongoing mobility issues and recently declining health. Instead her son, Prince Charles, will attend the landmark event and deliver the Queen's Speech in her place.

Announcing the sad news yesterday, a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said: "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."

The statement went on, "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."

This marks only the third time in the Queen's 70 year reign that she will miss the state opening of parliament – once in 1959 when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew, and again in 1963 when she was expecting Prince Edward.

Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images

Her Majesty's decision to skip the event means it has been delegated to her counsellors of state, currently made up of Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew. However, only Prince Charles and Prince William will be at the event, given that Prince Andrew was recently stripped of his royal titles, whilst Prince Harry is no longer a senior working royal.

However, the Monarch's throne at the event will remain empty during the ceremony, as Charles (accompanied by his wife Camilla Parker Bowles) will sit in their usual seats, with Prince William alongside them.

In response to Buckingham Palace's announcement, a spokesperson for No 10 said: "The prime minister fully respects the wishes of Her Majesty and is grateful to the Prince of Wales for agreeing to deliver the speech on her behalf."

News that the Queen will not attend the ceremony comes after months of ill health, with Her Majesty frequently being photographed using a walking stick – something which she has avoided doing for decades. Last week, the Palace also announced that the Monarch would not be in attendance at her famed garden parties that take place throughout the summer.

"Her Majesty the Queen will be represented by other members of the Royal Family at this year's garden parties, with details on attendance to be confirmed in due course," a statement read.

Sending plenty of positive vibes to Her Majesty and hope she is feeling better soon!

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