Queen Elizabeth II to miss Commonwealth Day service Monday

(Photo: AFP)
Queen Elizabeth II's return to major public duties next week will not now take place as planned, after Buckingham Palace said she would not be at the annual Commonwealth Day service.اضافة اعلان

The 95-year-old monarch had been scheduled to attend the annual event at Westminster Abbey in central London on Monday afternoon, joined by some 1,500 guests.

Her expected attendance had been seen as a return to work after a period of fragile health, during which she had a mild bout of Covid.

But Buckingham Palace said "after discussing the arrangements with the Royal Household, the Queen has asked the Prince of Wales to represent Her Majesty" instead.

Prince Charles, 73, is the queen's eldest son and heir, who is expected to take over from her as head of the 54-nation Commonwealth when he becomes king.

The queen, who has rarely been seen in public since October last year when she had an unscheduled overnight stay in hospital, turns 96 next month.

She tested positive for coronavirus on February 20, and developed what the palace said were "mild" symptoms, which forced her to cancel a series of virtual audiences.

But she was well enough last week to meet visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in person at her Windsor Castle home west of London.

The palace gave no reason for her cancellation on Monday and added: "The Queen will continue with other planned engagements, including in-person audiences, in the week ahead."

The queen last month became the first British monarch in history to reign for 70 years. Public events for her Platinum Jubilee are planned for early June.

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