Queen Elizabeth to skip opening of Parliament due to ‘episodic mobility problems’
Queen Elizabeth II will not be attending a royal engagement on Tuesday due to health issues.
Queen Elizabeth II will be missing from a significant occasion in almost 50 years. Buckingham Palace stated in a statement only one day before the traditional State Opening of Parliament on May 10—an event that the Queen would ordinarily attend, that the 96-year-old queen will have to miss.
Her Royal Highness, 96, “continues to experience episodic mobility problems,” Buckingham Palace revealed in a statement released on Monday, as per Page Six. The Palace added that in “consultation with her doctors,” the Queen has “reluctantly decided that she will not attend the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow.” Prince Charles will take up her responsibilities during the occasion, according to the statement. However, in February, Queen Elizabeth II became ill with COVID-19.
Although Prince Charles, 73, said in March that his mother was doing "better," mobility challenges in the elderly may be a side consequence of the coronavirus. Meanwhile, in terms of the event's importance, Queen Elizabeth customarily opens Parliament during the ceremony with a speech outlining the government's goals and the legislation that it intends to propose. It is also the only regular occasion that brings together the three branches of the British Parliament: the House of Lords, the House of Commons, and the Queen.
However, during her 70-year reign, the British queen has only missed this occasion twice. The first occurred in 1959 when she was expecting Prince Andrew, and the second was in 1963, just before the birth of Prince Edward. Queen Elizabeth has also skipped a few more public occasions in recent months, citing health concerns.