Queen Elizabeth missed the state opening of Parliament due to mobility issues

Last week, two pieces of news came out within a few hours. One, Queen Elizabeth II would completely miss this year’s garden party season, which includes several garden parties at Buckingham Palace, catered by BP chefs, and given in honor of random British people, like teachers, artists, writers, engineers, etc. The Queen is said to enjoy garden parties a great deal, and it’s always a big deal to see which royals she asks to accompany her at which party. This year, it will be about which royals go in her place at the garden parties. Anyway, the second piece of news – somewhat buried on purpose – was that the Queen still intended to attend the state opening of Parliament, but would make her final decision closer to the day. Well, the state opening is today (it’s happening right now). And the Queen said “nope” on Monday evening.

Queen Elizabeth will miss the State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday due to “mobility problems,” Buckingham Palace announced on Monday.

Her absence marks just the third time she’s missed the traditional occasion during her 70-year reign. (Her first two absences occurred when she was pregnant.) Her son, Prince Charles, and grandson, Prince William, will attend on her behalf. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will also be in attendance.

“The Queen continues to experience episodic mobility problems, and in consultation with her doctors has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Monday.

“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,” the statement concluded.

[From People]

Is this the first time Prince William will attend the state opening? I think so. Usually, for years, the Queen would attend the opening with Prince Philip, with both of them in their full regalia. In recent years, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have attended, sitting off to the side. Last year, it was QEII, Charles and Camilla and that’s it. So… yeah. Curious about Prince Regent Charles’s speech. Curious about how Just Call Me William will behave. We’ll see.

Breaking News!

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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85 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth missed the state opening of Parliament due to mobility issues”

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  1. Eurydice says:

    Yikes, what a morose-looking bunch.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      What he read was more bad news for us British citizens so the look on their faces was appropriate.

      They’re scrapping a human rights law too.

      • EPLFan says:

        I didn’t watch or listen but did see one review in a credible news source (ie, not a Tabloid), say Charles read the policy segments with a fair amount of incredulity and contempt.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ AlpineWitch, WHAT??? My gawd, what’s next, no more universal health care? They are certainly becoming more deplorable as time goes on.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        I shudder to think what else they are planning to scrap – that speech was the Tories trying to offer platitudes to the people given the drubbing they got at the local elections last week. Nothing more than a distraction from the reality of how they are not running the country.

  2. Ang says:

    Grrrr men sitting with legs splayed while women much prissily keep their knees clamped shut. It’s such a revolting symbol of everything crap.

    • Eurydice says:

      Very “Behold the Royal Package.”

    • Nancy says:

      @Ang Thank God the last thing I want to see is Camilla’s choice of underpants. 😮.

      • Ang says:

        Oh ITA! I meant more that they should all sit up straight and stop exposing the Crown Jewels!

    • anotherlily says:

      There are good reasons for this. Biological differences as well as cultural norms dictate what is acceptable. Being equal does not have to mean being identical.

      • Ang says:

        Hahahahaha you mean they sit like that because of their enormous schlongs? Jeez, I wonder why men don’t wear skirts, then, and women exclusively trousers? So ridiculous.

      • Jais says:

        What’s the biological reason a woman needs to sit with her knees clamped together? Not sure I’m following that.

      • GR says:

        @anotherlily “biological issues”? what, are their delicate little wee wees going to drop off?

      • AlpineWitch says:

        Wut?? That seems a very patriarchal reason. I always sat down the way I like, I don’t wear skirts though.

      • Lucy says:

        The cultural norms in this case are exactly the problem.

    • anotherlily says:

      @Jais biological differences include centre of gravity. Men carry more upper body weight than women. Their shoulders are wider and there is more muscular development. Their centre of gravity is higher than a woman’s. Splaying legs when sitting is a natural way of balancing weight. Women’s centre of gravity is at hip level so sitting automatically balances weight. Prince Harry habitually sits with his legs widely splayed. His build accounts for this. (His build is also why he he is better than William at polo.)

      Women’s ways of sitting are also influenced by dress and culture. It is vulgar in any culture to display underwear. Men in kilts sit with knees together or with the kilt pushed down between the knees.

      • MrsBanjo says:

        Just… No. Just no.

      • Ang says:

        I hate to pile on to you @anotherlily, but EVERYONE is more comfortable sitting with their knees apart naturally and feet planted wide and firmly on the ground. There is nothing biological about women (even TQ FFS) being forced to clamp their knees shut except good old fashioned double standard misogyny. To quote Cher from Clueless “That’s an unequivocal sex invite!”

      • Emma says:

        AnotherLily, let it go. LOL

      • Lucy says:

        So…women have weak arms and small brains? This explanation is very 19th century “science” on how women are inferior to men. Needed this laugh!

      • Bisynaptic says:


      • Mrs.Krabapple says:

        Maybe to keep their uteruses from falling out?

    • Jan90067 says:

      You would think, as “royalty” they were taught comportment as children! The slumping!! CallMeWilliam looks like he is not only man-spreading, but perched on a too small chair, ready to bolt! Chaz is not only slumped up there, but his face looks like a tomato, ready to burst.

  3. girl_ninja says:

    OMG. Look at their expressions! The misery on Willy’s face and the smug resignation on Chuck’s. What dreadful father son duo. Whew. Good on Harry for escaping with his family.

  4. C-Shell says:

    It seems the Regency is near complete. Doubtful the Queen will stand on The Balcony during the Jubbly, but colour can be trooped privately as during the height of the pandemic. And, Bess can spend private time with the Sussexes, Brooksbankses, etc. Maybe a nice luncheon with a cheery kids’ table!

    • anotherlily says:

      I think you’re right.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        As do I!!

        Though, these Three Stooges are a Sorry sight for the future of Britain…

    • Colby says:

      All that is true for sure, but may I ask then, why is she still Queen? It seems to me these ceremonial things are all the purpose the regent serves. If she can’t carry those things out, why does she still have the job?

      • Lucy says:

        It’s a lifetime job steeped in a millenia of tradition and there is a zero percent chance she abdicates for any reason.

  5. goofpuff says:

    Dang, she either is much more sick than they pretend she is or they are still being super ableist and don’t want her seen in a wheel chair or with a walker. or both. I see why Harry is willing to come with his family as this is probably the last chance for her to see his children.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      I think she’s on her last stretch of life. It seemed weird that H&M decided to travel to the UK twice in 2 months all of a sudden.

    • LadyMTL says:

      I obv don’t know for sure, but I’d say it’s more ableism than anything else. It’s not unusual for a 96 year old to have mobility issues – heck, my downstairs neighbor is 85 and has been using a cane for several years – but I get the feeling that the Palace doesn’t want TQ to be seen as ‘feeble’ or some such nonsense. Strong monarch, strong monarchy, don’t you know. (Insert eyerolling here.)

      • Jan90067 says:

        My dad needed to use a cane from his early 80s (thought it was worthless, as he just “tapped” it along as he walked). By his late 80s, after 3 falls, we *insisted* he use a walker. He did fine with it until about 3 yrs ago. He’s pretty much had to be in a wheelchair ever since, with his legs weaker and weaker (he’s always had a “bad” foot/weaker leg, but then combined with a bad back from severe arthritis, it just got to be too hard to walk).

        Perhaps it’s such with Liz. After a few of those falls she could’ve done damage. Perhaps she developed clots, which would account for the blood thinners causing the “bruised patches” we’ve seen on her skin. (And let’s not forget that hospitalization last fall!) If the clots have traveled up to her lungs, she is not going to be allowed to move around; she’ll be in bed.

        Also, if she’s “shuffling” at this point, her own vanity wouldn’t allow her to be in a wheelchair in public. Remember how furious she was at her sister, Margaret, when she was photographed in a chair after her stroke.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Yeah I think she is not in a good way – mobility issues in people that age is never a good sign. I don’t think she will be here in a years time.

    • Susan says:

      I am currently reading the Palace Papers and I’ve only gotten about 100 pages in, but it covers the last photographs/appearance of Princess Margaret and how everyone was crowing about how horrible she looked (she had her arm in a sling and was in a wheelchair after multiple strokes). Apparently Petty Betty never wanted to be seen that way and was “horrified” by the imagery of Margaret aging.
      (I have my own opinions about the stigma of aging in our society but this is not the place or time for my feminist rant)

  6. Merricat says:

    Yes, there is more going on there than simply “mobility problems.”

    • Nancy says:

      The more I think about her mobility issues the more I think she had a small stroke last October that has left this lasting issue and she’s too proud to use a wheelchair to get around.

      • Couch potato says:

        Wouldn’t be surprised if you are right @Nancy. I don’t think the mobility issues are the biggest concern, I think they hide behind it.This is an arrangement where she’d have to read out loud, not just be there. Both lack of eye sight and cognitive problems might be the real reason why. Pretty sure TQ has been regent in name only for quite a while, and Charles has been calling the shots for years now.

    • Gabby says:

      Nancy I agree with the stroke. I think there may be some incontinence problems to accompany the mobility problems. You can put her in Depends but it won’t cover the smell. Apologies to anyone who may be trying to eat.

  7. anotherlily says:

    Yes it is Prince William’s first time attending this ceremony. He has no official role. Prince Charles and Princess Anne attended the ceremony as teenagers. It’s a kind of official introduction. AFAIK Edward and Andrew have never attended.

    When you see the photos, Prince William is escorted by David Rocksavage the Marquess of Cholmondeley AKA Rose Hanbury’s husband. He has an hereditary official role on state occasions. William doesn’t look happy.

    It seems significant that Charles is in ceremonial uniform. I think he is officially Regent. It means the Queen is still the Monarch but officially recognised as incapable of fulfilling the duties of her position.

    • SAS says:

      @ AnotherLily loveeee this tidbit re: Rocksavage escorting William, thank you.

      I like Camilla’s outfit but for the godawful hat. Do other European royals wear hats for so many freaking occasions?

      Wills is continuing his streak of looking like a slob next to everyone around him.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        He is @ SAS! As someone who is supposed to be king, he looks very disinterested and disengaged. He such a lousy waste of a human. His incompetence is blinding!

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      Wish I could see Little Willy and his love rival Rocksavage walking together. That’d be a sight to behold. Not this nonsense.

    • Couch potato says:

      @AnotherLily Regency is officially announced. Maybe I’ve missed it, but I haven’t heard anything about it. It would be splased all over the news. I highly doubt they’ll do that before the jubbly. Charles was in ceremonial uniform when he attended with the queen in earlier years as well. It’s also common for heirs in other monarchies to wear uniforms at the opening of parlament.

      • anotherlily says:

        @Couchpotato In recent years when Charles has accompanied the Queen in the absence of Prince Philip he has worn morning dress if the Queen has been in day dress. He wore ceremonial uniform when the Queen was in state robes.

      • Couch potato says:

        @AnotherLily thank you, for correcting me. True, he hasn’t worn the ceremonial uniform every time he’s escorted the queen to the opening of parlament. The part about the official regency stands. He’s not official regent until the Parlament of UK passes a regency act.

      • Becks1 says:

        The pictures in this post are not from this year (because the Queen is there) so while he did wear full ceremonial dress, it is not the first time he has done it, so I don’t think its signifying a regency.

    • Jan90067 says:

      When Philip was up there, he was in full regalia as well.

    • Lionel says:

      Anyone know why they are in full regalia/gowns/robes/jewels at some openings and regular day clothes at others?

      • Becks1 says:

        the one of the queen in the gray dress and hat may be from last year, or it may be the opening of Scottish parliament (I dont know if she does that?) but it was a pandemic opening, so it was significantly scaled back (note Charles’ mask, etc.)

    • Maeve says:

      He does have an official role on this occasion, he’s there as a Counsellor of State. HM can delegate official duties to Counsellors of State via Letters Ptent. if she’s unable to attend due to illness that isn’t permanently incapacitating (which is where a regency would kick in) or other absence if there would otherwise be a delay in essential business. There must be two Counsellors present. Currently the four counsellors are Charles, William, Harry & Andrew, so obvs William gets the call.

  8. Miranda says:

    We know they’re ableist, but we also know that, despite these mobility issues, HM seemed to be able to go out when she deemed it most necessary, like for the memorial service. The Opening of Parliament is like, one of the monarch’s only real duties, isn’t it? Wouldn’t that be important enough to make arrangements to get her there? Charles is Regent in all but name now, I think. If it’s going to be like this, just make that announcement after the Jubbly and get it over with.

    • Merricat says:


    • Couch potato says:

      As I’ve mentioned higher up, I think they are hiding the fact that the queen are unable to read the speech. They use mobility issues as an excuse.

  9. prissa says:

    These pictures look like a dour, morose bunch playing dress up. So outdated. Will they ever enter into the 21st century?

    • Eurydice says:

      I suppose it’s because they’re not my monarchy, so I’m not used to seeing all that gold and crowns and thrones, chains and medals and sashes, wigs, jabots, footmen in white stockings – the whole picture looks to me like museum installation.

    • Jais says:

      William looks so bored already. Or that just his resting face.

  10. Snuffles says:

    You would think as a future King, William would try not looking like a surly teen forced to attend Bring Your Child To Work day, Parliament Edition.

    • Pinkosaurus says:

      @Snuffles, hahahahaha. Call me Wills has resting sulk face.

    • anotherlily says:

      @Snuffles That’s a good description! And it’s exactly what this is. Charles and Anne have both attended this ceremony as teenagers. I think Charles may have attended twice and Anne once.

    • C-Shell says:

      He really is incapable of acting appropriately for whatever the occasion. Is this a part of his Future King Training that either was missing or did he fail abjectly? FFS You’d think —if he believes he should leap frog over Charles to the throne — he’d strive to look regal, or at least aware of his surroundings.

      • Gabby says:

        He failed and has to re-take the course. I think he was recently told in no uncertain terms it was about time he learned something. He probably has no idea how Parliament works.

    • Heather says:

      Do we know if these old buildings are equipped for disabled persons? I know here in the US, it’s law that most businesses have to be wheelchairs/handicap accessible, but maybe they haven’t done this in Britain?

      • Daphne says:

        Even if the buildings aren’t easily accessible, she’s the QUEEN – no expense is spared when it comes to her comfort so there is plenty of money available to install ramps or whatever else might be needed.

        I don’t think her mobility is the issue at all.

  11. anotherlily says:

    Yes, they are a representative cross-section of the population who have been nominated by various organisations and charities. I knew someone who was invited. Not sure if it’s still the same but the rules at that time allowed him to bring his wife and any unmarried daughters above a certain age, which might have been 16 since their daughter was 17.

  12. aquarius64 says:

    I don’t see the balcony happening. The queen needs to get over her pride and get a mobility device or activate the Regency.

  13. Amy Bee says:

    Charles’ speech will be what the Government tells him to read. It’s time for the Palace to announce that the Queen is shut in and can no longer carry out duties.

  14. Daphne says:

    I think she’s seriously unwell and the mobility thing is a cover story. Rapidly progressing dementia perhaps. This could well explain Harry’s concerns for her.

  15. Kyliegirl says:

    I think it is more than a mobility issue. She would also have to read the speech the government wrote for her. Not saying she has dementia, but long speeches may be too much at this point.

  16. anotherlily says:

    After the Queen spent a night in hospital ‘for tests’ some press reports claimed that doctors had found ‘digestive issues’. It could mean any of a wide range of conditions including pancreatic problems. If this is the case she may need a high level of pain control and assistance with eating.

    • MsIam says:

      Her rapid weight loss does not look good. I’ve seen that in my family before and it usually does not bode well. And its been associated with “digestive” issues that end up being the “C” word. It could explain why the Sussexes are willing to come and put up with the Jubbly mess rather than do a quiet visit over the summer.

  17. AmelieOriginal says:

    Did the Queen used to wear that heavy looking crown for the opening of Parliament? I think she stopped wearing it because as she got older and more frail, it was too heavy for her to wear. I wonder if Charles will wear it when he is king or just set it aside for display like the Queen does now.

    • MsIam says:

      I’m cracking up imagining that thing sitting on Baldemort’s head!

    • Lionel says:

      I believe that’s the crown worn at the monarch’s coronation. Charles can’t wear it until it’s put on his head by (the Archbishop?) but I’d bet he’ll wear it as for long as he can after that.

  18. 2cents says:

    I bet Charles wanted William by his side to put William in his place on national television as his successor and not as the next king. He must be frustrated that the Cambridge camp is constantly pushing this “King William” narrative in the British media.

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if Charles and Camilla arranged for William to walk behind Rose’s husband to get people gossiping.

    But why was Kate not there? Was she “snubbed” like she was for the unveiling of Diana’s statue? Why isn’t everyone talking about that?

  19. Lady D says:

    Question: Does anyone know if Camilla is allowed to give Kate orders and expect compliance, or does Camilla have to be QC for that to happen? If Camilla ordered Kate to stay home today, would she have to?

  20. Jay says:

    I’m just looking at Charles and his chunky gold braid and fancy dress uniform, sitting in front of a gilded wall in a gilded chair with a symbolic crown on its own special cushion and…do you think he feels ridiculous? It looks ridiculous to me.

    Maybe it’s familiarity, maybe it’s too many movies, maybe it’s changing tastes, but I’m not exactly filled with awe here. It just looks…cheap. tacky. silly. Small.

    I would love to know if the lords and royals themselves really believe their grand roles, or if they just go through the motions. Or maybe the think all this sparkle will impress the masses?