With the country’s longest reigning monarch just four years shy of her 100th birthday and facing ongoing mobility issues, practical adjustments and last-minute changes to the Queen’s diary have become the norm.
Liz Truss will make the 1,000 mile round trip to see the Head of State and be named Prime Minister at Balmoral on Tuesday, rather than making the 96-year-old trip to London from the Scottish Highlands during her summer vacation. summer.
This is the latest in a series of changes as the Queen continues her duties in her twilight years.
Its Platinum Jubilee milestone was celebrated with millions of people on the streets during a bumper four-day weekend of national commemorations in June.
The Queen served as a unifying focal point for the extended festivities, delighting the crowds when she appeared on the balcony.
But she was only seen in public four times over the weekend, and missed the thanksgiving service after enduring “some discomfort” and then the Epsom Derby and the pop concert.
In a written message, she renewed her commitment to serve as a monarch, but with the key phrase “to the best of my ability, supported by my family”.
In May, the Prince of Wales delivered the Queen’s Speech at the official opening of Parliament – in what was a historic delegation of constitutional duties – and the first time the Queen had missed him in nearly 60 years.
Former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt described Charles as “on the verge of becoming a de facto Prince Regent”, with the Queen “gradually withdrawing from public life”.
Royal doctors will be on hand to advise and closely monitor the monarch’s health, and Buckingham Palace often only confirms the Queen’s attendance at an event that morning.
During the pandemic, the Queen’s professional life, conducted from the Windsor Castle bubble, has moved online, with audiences with new ambassadors conducted via video calls, and her weekly audiences with her Prime Minister have shifted. conducted in the form of telephone conversations.
The move to virtual royal duties has proven invaluable given the Queen’s mobility issues and advanced age, and has continued in some areas, despite falling Covid cases, and has become a permanent feature from the monarch’s diary.
His first Privy Council with new Prime Minister Ms Truss will take place virtually on Wednesday, the day after the hearing.
The Queen has previously held private councils online, but it is believed to be the first time she has done so virtually following the appointment of a new prime minister.
The monarch is rarely seen outside a royal residence or household on official duties, and when she is, appearances are shorter with notable practical aids.
She attended the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service in March, using a stick as she cautiously made her way to her seat, holding the Duke of York’s elbow for support, and, at the Chelsea Flower Show, the Queen used a high tech buggy to navigate the terrain. .
The Queen took delivery of the £62,000 luxury golf buggy, complete with lithium battery, leather seats and Bluetooth speakers, earlier this year to help her get around Windsor.
During an in-person audience in February, the Queen remarked, “Well, as you can see, I can’t move.”
She secretly spent a night in hospital in October for tests and was then ordered by doctors to rest for the next three months, missing the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph service and climate change talks. of the COP26.
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