Queen to miss State Opening of Parliament due to 'episodic mobility problems'

The Queen will miss the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow for the first time in more than 50 years, Buckingham Palace said, citing her “episodic mobility problems”.

File photo dated 14/10/2019 of Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords
File photo dated 14/10/2019 of Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords

The Prince of Wales will deliver the speech instead, accompanied by the Duke of Cambridge.

It will be just the third time that the Queen has not attended the event, having last missed it in 1963 when she was pregnant with Prince Edward.

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The decision was taken today, as the Queen has continued to suffer episodic issues since last autumn.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said last night: “The Queen continues to experience occasional mobility problems, and in consultation with her doctors has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow.

“At Her Majesty’s request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, The Prince of Wales will read The Queen’s Speech on Her Majesty’s behalf, with The Duke of Cambridge also in attendance.”