Buckingham Palace just made an announcement that has royal admirers fearful for Queen Elizabeth's condition. Royal officials issued a press release saying that the queen will miss the State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday due to "mobility problems." Of course, this raises some questions about the monarch's health, but the press release promises that her condition has not changed.
"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," the announcement reads. "At Her Majesty's request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, The Prince of Wales will read The Queen's speech on Her Majesty's behalf, with The Duke of Cambridge also in attendance."
The queen has only missed the State Opening of Parliament event three times in her 70-year-long reign. She will not be resting too much, however. According to a report by PEOPLE the queen has many other appointments this week. Sources inside the palace said that she has private audiences planned with the Prime Minister, the Privy Council and several other important meetings.
The queen did use the authority of the Letters Patent to officially delegate the royal duty of opening a new session of Parliament to her son, Prince Charles. However, she did not delegate any other functions. This gives her heir the authority to perform this task jointly with his son and heir, Prince William. Prince Charles' wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall is also expected to attend.
The queen's mobility issues reportedly boil down to difficulty standing for long periods of time and some minor issues getting around unaided. She has recently taken to walking with a cane, but has taken the whole thing in stride. At one recent event she reportedly joked: "Well, as you can see, I can't move!"
The queen has had a rough year healthwise – particularly for someone 96 years old. It has been just over a year since she lost her husband, Prince Phillip, which is known to impact the health of a widow or widower. She was hospitalized twice, including one bout with COVID-19 back in February. She later said that the virus "does leave one feeling very tired and exhausted." So far, no further details on the queen's current health have been made public.