Prince Charles is set to deliver the Queen’s Speech at the state opening of parliament if the 95-year-old monarch is unfit to attend
There has been growing concern about Queen Elizabeth’s health for several months. She contracted COVID-19 in February and was forced to cancel her virtual meetings.
However, she eventually returned to duty, hosting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
There are also rumors that the Queen needs a mobility wheelchair; however, this is yet to be confirmed by Buckingham Palace.
Prince Charles may read the Queen’s speech in her potential absence
A contingency plan with Prince Charles is reportedly in motion if the Queen’s rumored health or mobility issues prevent her from reading her speech on May 10.
This is unprecedented as the British head of state has reportedly only missed two speeches in her historic tenure as head of state – in 1959 and 1963 when she was pregnant with Andrew and Edward, according to Metro.
The 95-year-old has pulled out of several key events in the last six months due to concerns surrounding her health.
Along with Prince Harry, she was absent from the Commonwealth Day event at Westminster Abbey last week.
In October last year, Elizabeth II spent a night in hospital for ‘preliminary investigations,’ according to Buckingham Palace, after canceling a planned trip to Northern Ireland.
The following week, the 95-year-old pulled out of the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland, after being advised to rest.
In November, she missed the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph after spraining her back.
In February this year, her Majesty contracted COVID-19 and could only perform light duties for about one week.
It is unclear if she would be able to attend the memorial for her late husband, Prince Phillip, who died at age 99 last year.
Queen Elizabeth may scale down her busy schedule due to her age
While the Queen reportedly wants to soldier on with her duties, she may be forced to scale back.
A royal source told the Sunday Times: “The date is in Her Majesty’s diary, and she hopes to attend. The Queen remains fit and active, and it is amazing how much she still does, the source said, continuing:
“But her diary is being paced to reflect the realities of a woman of her age and to ensure that she is able to continue to do as much as she can and would like to do. All events will now be scheduled so that if Her Majesty is unable to attend at short notice, another member of the royal family will still be present.”
Queen Elizabeth was seen in Windsor Castle on February 16, using a stick. When she was asked how she was, she responded: “As you can see, I can’t move.”
However, she appeared in good spirits and was sharp and witty in the conversation with the royal guards.