Queen could miss more key events such as Royal Ascot and Garter Day, says expert


Joe Little, editor of Majesty Magazine, says it “may not be possible” for the Queen to attend certain events in the future and believes her diary will remain “pretty sparse”

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Queen says she ‘can’t move’ as she holds in-person audience

The Queen could miss more key events such as Royal Ascot and Garter Day, a royal expert has suggested.

The monarch pulled out of attending the Commonwealth Day service on Monday, a decision understood to be related to her comfort rather than a specific illness.

She now regularly uses a stick and remarked during a r ecent Windsor audience “Well, as you can see, I can’t move”.

Her Majesty has also just recovered from a bout of Covid and spent more than three months resting on doctors’ orders from October and only carrying out light duties after an overnight stay in hospital for tests.

The Queen was unable to attend yesterday’s Commonwealth Day service


Getty Images)

And editor of Majesty magazine, Joe Little, has suggested the head of state could be absent from key events in the royal calendar such as the Order of the Garter ceremony and Royal Ascot.

Celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee are set for June over a busy four-day weekend including a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.

It has not yet been confirmed which events the Queen will attend and how much she will be seen.

Mr Little told PA: “At a service – you’re getting up and down – and it’s tricky. If Westminster Abbey wasn’t possible, it makes you wonder whether St Paul’s Cathedral will be possible during the main Jubilee celebrations.

The Queen at Royal Ascot last year



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“Garter, Royal Ascot, big ceremonial events that involve her normally getting in and out of carriages and getting dressed up, I just feel that’s not going to be possible in the future.

“But you know, a lot can happen between now and then and so we will think positive thoughts.”

Mr Little also believes the Queen’s diary will never return to its pre-pandemic days because of her age and her frailty.

He added: “The programme will be pretty sparse. The Palace is clearly going to look at what’s planned and commit to as little as possible because the problem is obviously to do with mobility.

The Queen at the Maundy service in 2019 with granddaughter Princess Eugenie


Tim Rooke/REX)

“The shift has been going on for some time and it’s been accelerated by the Covid situation.

“Two years ago, the Commonwealth service was one of the last things the Queen did before moving to Windsor for the duration and of course, she’s never really come back.

“The pandemic has in many ways slowed her down. The programme will never really get back to how it was pre-pandemic, I would say, because of her age and her frailty.”

The Queen during an audience with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week



He questioned whether the monarch, who turns 96 next month, will be mobile enough to hand out Maundy money to nearly 200 pensioners in April in keeping with an ancient Easter custom.

“It seems very unlikely that the Queen will distribute Maundy money in the way she once did because it involves a lot of people and standing for quite some time. Unfortunately, I think those days are gone. She’s nearly 96,” he said.

But Mr Little added as long as the Queen remains “pin-sharp” mentally she will be able to function as monarch, including dealing with her red boxes of papers.

“The Queen always strives to be visible, and of course, given her frailty, she’s much less visible than she would perhaps like to be,” he said.

“But the fact that she’s still able to perform the functions of head of state – the paperwork, the messages, all the stuff that doesn’t require physical presence – so as long as she remains pin-sharp mentally then there’s no reason to think that she can’t fulfil much of her duties, but just in a less visible manner.”

The Queen switched to on-screen engagements for much of the pandemic and recently carried out a number of virtual audiences, and a handful of in-person ones.

She reaffirmed the pledge of service she made as a 21-year-old in her Commonwealth Day message on Monday, saying: “In this year of my Platinum Jubilee, it has given me pleasure to renew the promise I made in 1947, that my life will always be devoted in service.”

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the Queen’s future engagements.

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