Queen Elizabeth Misses Highly Anticipated Event With Back Sprain
Queen Elizabeth II, the U.K.’s 95-year-old monarch, missed a planned appearance on Sunday, fueling further concerns about her health.
The Queen sprained her back and “decided with great regret” that she will not be able to attend the annual Remembrance Day Service, Buckingham Palace announced in a statement.
The palace said on Thursday that the Queen’s “firm intention” was to attend the event after taking almost a month away from her duties to rest following doctors’ advice following an overnight hospital stay in October.
The world’s longest-reigning monarch was due to attend the service at the Cenotaph monument in London. It’s an event that has always held particular significance for the queen, who lived through World War II as a child and is the head of the nation’s armed forces. Instead, a wreath was be laid on her behalf by the Prince of Wales, with other members of the royal family in attendance, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Sunday’s appearance was to have marked the queen’s first public in-person event in weeks since she scrapped plans to visit Northern Ireland and later Glasgow for the United Nations climate conference.
Her hospital visit last month was the first overnight stay in eight years and she has also been seen using a walking stick for the first time. She has carried out some virtual duties while undertaking rest.
The Palace said Sunday that the back strain was unrelated to the Queen’s recent health issues.
Today’s absence will bring renewed attention to the Queen’s health, which has generally been robust for her age. Her husband, Prince Philip, died in April, two months before his 100th birthday.
The Queen, who ascended to the throne in 1952, has been a steady and largely popular figure through the U.K.’s years of political turbulence, including its exit from the European Union, as well as the royal family’s own controversies including Prince Harry’s departure from official duties.
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