As Queen Elizabeth continues to rest amid her recent health struggles, another member of the British royal family is stepping up to take on an increased workload. Princess Alexandra, Her Majesty's cousin, has had a busy schedule packed with royal engagements in the past few weeks, despite rumors that she had retired from public duties amid health struggles of her own.
In September, Alexandra, who turns 85 next month, carried out a total of five royal engagements, the first being a Sept. 2 trip to Balmoral Castle where she represented the Queen at the Service of Celebration for the Life of the Lady Mary Colman. That event was followed by four more official engagements, all held at St. James's Palace, on Sept. 15, Sept. 20, Sept. 23, and Sept. 27, according to the Court Circular, the official record of the British royal family's engagements. As concerns over the Queen's health sparked in October, Alexandra's workload increased even more, with the royal, who is 53rd in the line of succession, carrying out a total of eight engagements in October, her most recent being an Awards Ceremony at Haberdashers' Hall in London.
While Alexandra's diary may not seem as packed as other royals, it is a stark increase in official events from recent years. Royal Central reports that prior to the increase in events that began in September, Alexandra had only conducted four engagements from January to August of this year. In 2020, she carried out a total of just 10 official royal engagements, a number that may have been partially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, which saw the workloads of most royals decrease. Still, her increased workload comes after speculation arose in 2017 that Alexandra would officially retire from public life after she suffered from numerous injuries. Alexandra is the Patron of over 100 organizations and has been carrying out duties on behalf of The Queen for almost seven decades.
The Queen, meanwhile, has been seeing a somewhat lighter workload than usual. In October, she canceled two planned engagements — a trip to Northern Ireland and her planned attendance at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland. The canceled events came amid an overnight hospitalization at King Edward VII's Hospital in London for "preliminary investigations." The Queen was said to be in "good spirits" at the time and returned home the following morning. However, sources told The Telegraph that Her Majesty would no longer do official events solo and would instead have at least one other senior royal jointly scheduled in case she has to cancel over future health scares. Despite her health scare, the Queen seems to be on the mend and was spotted on Monday driving around Windsor Estate.