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By Baroness Smith of Llanfaes
Press releases

Queen Pulls Out Of State Opening Of Parliament Due To “Episodic Mobility Problems”

The Queen will not attend the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow, Buckingham Palace has confirmed (Alamy)

2 min read

The Queen will not attend tomorrow’s State Opening of Parliament due to ongoing “mobility problems”, Buckingham Palace has announced.

Prince Charles will instead read the Queen's Speech on her behalf, which sets out the government’s legislative agenda for the following year.

The Queen had been due to attend a ceremony modified to accomodate her health concerns, but was forced to pull out at the last minute. 

"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," Buckingham Palace said in a statement. 

"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.”

A new Letters Patent, authorised by the Queen, was issued today to cover the State Opening which delegates the royal function of opening a new session of Parliament to “Counsellors of State”, enabling Charles and William to jointly exercise that function.

It will be the first time in 59 years that the Queen will not attend the annual event, and only the third time in her 70 years on the throne.

She was unable to attend in 1959 as she was pregnant with Prince Andrew, and in 1963 was about to give birth to Prince Edward.

The announcement follows the news that the Queen would not host the royal garden parties in her Platinum Jubilee year, having missed events at Easter, including the Maundy Thursday Service.

The thanksgiving service for her husband Prince Philip in March has been the only public event outside of her royal residences the 96-year-old has attended so far this year.

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