Queen pulls out of State Opening of Parliament 1 month ago

Queen pulls out of State Opening of Parliament

She will miss it for the first time in 59 years

The Queen will not attend this year's State Opening of Parliament, it has been announced.

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Buckingham Palace confirmed the news on Monday evening, stating that the 96-year-old monarch will not attend due to "episodic mobility problems".

Tomorrow's ceremony, which sets out the government's legislative plans, will be the first time the Queen has missed the constitutional ceremony since 1963.

Prince Charles will instead deliver the speech on her behalf.

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Queen Elizabeth II in the House of Lord's Chamber with Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall seated (R) during the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords on May 11, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images) The Queen during the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords in 2021 (Credit: Getty Images)

A statement from 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."

This is only the third time in her reign that the Queen has failed to attend the ceremony. The only others times were in 1959 and 1963 when she was pregnant.

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But it is not the first event the Queen has missed this year. Her Covid-diagnosis in February, in which the palace said she experienced "mild cold-like symptoms", saw her cancel a number of virtual engagements, but continue with "light duties". Though within two weeks of testing positive, she was attending virtual engagements again.

The Queen had an in-person meeting with the President of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis late last month (Credit: Getty) The Queen at an in-person meeting with the President of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis last month (Credit: Getty)

The Queen did attend the Service of Thanksgiving for Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey in late March - in what was her first public appearance since October 2021. But it was only last month that she pulled out of the Maundy Day church service, which she's only ever done after giving birth, or when on tour. She also missed the Easter Sunday service at St George's Chapel in Windsor.

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The 96-year-old did go ahead with an in-person meeting with the president of Switzerland at Windsor Castle towards the end of April. At the time, Buckingham Palace said the Queen was planning on attending the State Opening of Parliament, but this is no longer the case.

Her throne will remain empty in the House of Lords throughout the ceremony.

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