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Queen Elizabeth II “reluctantly” skips state opening of parliament due to “mobility issues” before Platinum Jubilee

London – Just a few weeks away from Britain marking her record of seven decades, Queen Elizabeth II misses one of her most watched annual appearances due to persistent health issues. CBS News senior foreign correspondent Holly Williams reports that the formal state opening of parliament took place on Tuesday morning with all the pomp and circumstance that defines Britain’s institutions – but the queen’s seat was empty.

Her son Prince Charles, heir to the throne, filled the roll for the Queen on Tuesday, aided by his son, Prince William. The imperial state crown was there, driver to Parliament by Charles and William, but only the reigning monarch was allowed to wear it so it sat empty.

UNITED KINGDOM POLITICS ROYALS
Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R), watches as the Imperial Crown is placed next to him in the House of Lords Chamber during the state opening of Parliament in the Houses of Parliament, London, 10 May 2022 .

ALASTAIR GRANT / POOL / AFP / Getty


“The Queen continues to experience episodic mobility problems,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement, explaining that she had “reluctantly decided” not to attend the ceremony, which formally opens Britain’s new legislative session.

It is said that the Queen watched the ceremony at home in Windsor Castle on television. It is believed that she still performed most of her official duties, as Williams reports, the fact that she was physically unable to attend Tuesday’s event is symbolic – and for many in the UK sad.

Opening Parliament is the constitutional duty of the British monarch. During her 70 years on the throne, Elizabeth has only missed it twice. The last time she could not attend was in 1963 when she was pregnant.


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Traditionally, she comes in full royal attire and crown to read a speech to the assembled legislators. The speech itself is written by the government and outlines its legislative plans for the coming months. On Tuesday, that duty fell into Charles’ hands for the first time.

“The risk,” Royal Veterans correspondent Roya Nikkhah explained to CBS News, “is that the queen goes into the chamber and suddenly has to stop – and she did not want that, and neither did anyone else.”

Queen Elizabeth II recently celebrated his 96th birthday, and she still seems to be in fine shape for a woman her age. Recently, however, she has been seen using a walking stick and she has withdrawn from several events citing her mobility issues.

The last two years have not been easy for the matriarch of House of Windsor. She lost her husband Prince Philip about a year ago, and has seen his second son Prince Andrew was engulfed in scandal.

But stepping aside early to make room for Prince Charles to become King Charles is apparently not on the cards.

“One word” – abdication – in this country is poisonous, “said Nikkhah.” The queen committed herself when she was young, and by her coronation, that her job was for life … The queen will not take anywhere while she still able to do his job. “

After her absence from parliament on Tuesday, however, all eyes will be on the Queen’s Platinum anniversary next month – a four-day celebration and national holiday to mark her record seven decades on the throne.

The festivities will include a military parade, street parties and a pop concert at Buckingham Palace. The question is to what extent she will be able to participate.

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