Queen Elizabeth II will miss another major royal engagement as she begins to scale back her responsibilities. The 95-year-old monarch, who recently marked her Platinum Jubilee, will miss the annual Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on Monday, Buckingham Palace confirmed over the weekend. This will mark the first time in nearly a decade that the queen has missed the service.
In a statement, the palace explained that the queen's son, Prince Charles, would attend the service in her place. The statement read, "After discussing the arrangements with the Royal Household, The Queen has asked The Prince of Wales to represent Her Majesty at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on Monday." Despite her absence, the palace confirmed that "the Queen will continue with other planned engagements, including in-person audiences, in the week ahead." Although the palace did not provide further comment, PEOPLE reported that the queen's absence is not related to illness. Rather, there were discussions surrounding the monarch's comfort when it came to her travel arrangements and attending the service, and it was ultimately decided it would be best if she did not attend.
The queen's absence could be one of many engagements the queen will pull out of in the coming weeks and months as her diary is "under review," according to a source who spoke to the Daily Mail. While the queen is still said to be "as alert, able and interested as ever," she has begun to face more physical limitations given her age, the source noting, "physically, she isn't as strong as she once was, which is entirely understandable for a woman of her age." The source added that both the queen and royal aides have accepted that the "frailties that come with living a long life" are catching up to the long-reigning monarch.
The sources confirmed that the queen is not ill and remains "as committed to her duties of state as ever." However, given her age, it is expected that her public appearances will be fewer, particularly for engagements that would involve the monarch standing for long periods of time. The sources claimed that in her absence, the engagements will be conducted by Charles, Prince William, and Anne, Princess Royal. The Daily Mail reported that the queen is still determined to attend the upcoming memorial service for her late husband Prince Philip, who passed away in April of last year.0comments