Queen Elizabeth twists and misses Sunday memorial service

LONDON (Reuters) – Queen Elizabeth II missed Sunday’s memorial service in London to honor Britain’s war dead because she twisted her back, Buckingham Palace said on Sunday.

The service is one of the highlights of the 95-year royal calendar, and was supposed to be her first public appearance after taking a few weeks off under doctor’s orders.

British media have reported that he does not believe the back sprain has anything to do with recent medical advice to rest that has prompted the cancellation of other cases.

“The Queen, having twisted her back, has decided this morning with great regret that she will not be able to attend Sunday’s mass at the memorial,” officials said just hours before the ceremony. “Her Majesty the Queen is disappointed that she will miss the service.”
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The Queen spent a night in a London hospital last month after being admitted for medical tests. This was her first stay in eight years. On October 29, the palace said doctors told her to rest for two weeks and do only light tasks.

She canceled her plans to attend the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, but sent a video message.

But officials stressed at the time that it was “still the Queen’s firm intention” to be present at Sunday prayers to mark the national memory. Buckingham Palace said, on Thursday, that the Queen intends to watch the ceremony at the war memorial at the War Memorial in central London from a balcony, as she did several years ago.

The Queen served in World War II as an army chauffeur and mechanic, and commander of the British Armed Forces. Great importance is attached to the Commemoration of Sunday, a solemn celebration to remember the sacrifices made by fallen soldiers and women. National Service, which follows Armistice Day on November 11, is traditionally characterized by the wearing of poppies and two minutes of silence at 11 am.

On Sunday, members of the royal family and politicians led the ceremony in Whitehall, London, and hundreds of military and veterans lined up around the memorial monument. It was the first time the event had returned to normal since the pandemic began.

After the Royal Navy sounded ‘The Last Post’, Prince Charles, 73, laid his first wreath on behalf of the Queen, as he has done since 2017. Members of the royal family and Prime Minister Boris Johnson followed suit.

The Queen continued to work from home, performing office duties, during her break. She spent most of the time at Windsor Castle, west London, although she did make a weekend visit to Sandringham, the royal family’s estate in the east of England.

She missed many other events, including the Memorial Festival at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday. Officials also said she will miss the opening of the Church of England’s ruling general assembly on Tuesday.

Royal biographer Penny Junor said the Queen may be entering a new phase of her reign where she won’t be seen much in public.

“It is very sad for the Queen, because this is the only event of the year that she really loves to be,” she said. “We are so used to seeing her on the outside looking years younger than her that I think we’ve calmed down to believe she could go on at this kind of pace forever. She obviously can’t.”

Britain’s longest-reigning and longest-reigning Elizabeth is set to celebrate her platinum jubilee – 70 years on the throne – next year.

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