Queen Elizabeth Has Entered 'New Phase' of Her Reign, Expert Says

Queen Elizabeth is "entering a new phase" of her reign as concerns surrounding her health continue to grow. The British monarch, who will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee in 2022, marking 70 years on the throne, has been forced to skip a number of royal engagements in the last month due to her health, which led to a brief overnight hospitalization. Since then, she has been on doctor's orders to rest, resulting in a more limited schedule of events, something that may not be going away anytime soon.

The most recent cause for concern came on Sunday, when a sprained back prevented the Queen from attending the Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph. In her place, her son, Prince Charles, placed a wreath at the Cenotaph memorial on the Queen's behalf. According to royal author Penny Junor, it is expected that other members of the royal family will step in to fill the Queen's shoes at in-person engagements as the Queen takes a step back. Junor told the Mirror that while royal watchers are "so used to seeing her out and about and looking years younger than she is... there comes a time in everybody's life when they have to admit that they are getting older and can't do the things that they perhaps want to do." Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, seemed to agree, noting that "in terms of official engagements before the end of the year, I don't think we will see her out and about doing anything officially, even if she recovers from the sprained back."

"There are shades of the time her mother was a similar age and things got progressively more difficult. But the Queen Mother soldiered on and there is no reason to think the Queen won't, but this is a setback," Little said. "Clearly there are mobility issues. Getting from Windsor with a sprained back and having to stand for 15 to 20 minutes at the Cenotaph is not helpful for somebody of 95."

This doesn't mean royal fans should expect Her Majesty to completely step out of the spotlight. Junor instead suggested that it seems likely that fans can expect to "see more of her on video and probably less of her in the flesh," something she did in October when she welcomed the new ambassadors to Britain from South Korea and Switzerland via a virtual audience. With her age, Junor said "they should keep her warm and tucked up at home and not exposing herself to the possibility of infections." It also seems likely that royal fans can still expect the Queen to take part in her annual Christmas celebrations, which involves members of the royal family gathering at Sandringham for dinner.