Queen Elizabeth was forced to call off a royal engagement Thursday due to a minor health crisis. The current reigning monarch, 93, was scheduled to make her annual visit to the Sandringham branch of the Women's Institute in Norfolk, but had to cancel her visit just a half an hour before her scheduled arrival due to "a cold."
News of the queen's last-minute decision to cancel her annual appearance was confirmed by a Buckingham Palace spokesperson to the Daily Mail, the spokesperson telling the outlet that the monarch "has a slight cold." Despite the illness affecting her scheduled outing, a separate source assured the outlet that it was "no cause for alarm."
She has attended the meetings since 1943 and took over as President from the Queen Mother. During her yearly visit to the Women's Institute, the queen typically enjoys tea and cake with members of the association. She also listens to a speech delivered by a guest, with this year's speech set to be delivered by BBC News At Ten Presenter Huw Edwards, who called it "daunting and exciting."
At 93, the Queen has ruled longer than any other monarch in British history, and although she is said to be in good health and rarely pulls out of her scheduled appearances, she has begun to lighten her workload. In 2016, she stepped down as Patron of 25 national organizations, with other members of the royal family taking on the patronages.
"At the end of the Queen's 90th birthday year, Her Majesty will step down as patron from a number of national organisations," the Palace said in a statement at the time, Independent reported. "Her Majesty will continue to serve as patron to hundreds of charities and institutions but will now share this work with her family. Many of the organisations listed below already have other members of the Royal Family as vice-patrons or presidents, which will ensure a smooth transition."0comments
"This decision follows the example set by the Duke of Edinburgh who resigned from a number of patronages on the occasion of his 90th birthday in 2011," the statement added.
The Queen's latest minor health concern comes just weeks after her husband, Prince Philip, was hospitalized as a "precautionary measure" in relation to a pre-existing condition. The hospitalization, which came "on the advice of His Royal Highness' Doctor," meant that he was unable to travel with the queen to Sandringham ahead of her annual Christmas festivities.