As a result of the Queen’s age – she’ll be 96 next month – she will only attend a few essential engagements going forward, according to Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty Magazine. He said her programme is expected to be “pretty sparse”, missing key events in her Platinum Jubilee year as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch is urged to take some rest.
Speaking to the PA news agency, Mr Little said: “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.”
He added: “The Queen now regularly uses a stick and remarked during a recent Windsor audience: ‘Well, as you can see, I can’t move’.”
The Queen has recently recovered from Covid, during which she allegedly suffered only mild, cold-like symptoms.
She missed the Commonwealth Service in Westminster Abbey in celebration of Commonwealth Day on Monday.
It is understood that she didn’t attend for comfort reasons and royal biographer Angela Levin explained to Sky News last week that the Queen’s mobility could be a factor.
She said: “Westminster Abbey isn’t ideal because it’s a long walk to where she would sit down.
“I know that they tried to find some way around the back where they could bring her in but it didn’t seem possible because there were stairs.
“I think they have left it. Whether she’s trying to build up her energy and strength so she can manage at the end of March [for Prince Philip’s memorial service], we shall have to see.”
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Prince Charles represented her at the Commonwealth Service as he prepares to take over as King.
Mr Little said: “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.”
But despite concerns for her wellbeing, the Queen has shown no desire to step back from her duties.
In a message for Commonwealth Day, the Queen renewed her pledge that her “life will always be devoted in service” – which she first made at 21 years old.
Mr Little claimed that the Queen continues to strive to be visible despite her fragility and said she will keep up her other royal duties which don’t require her physical presence.
He said: “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.”
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