It was the one event that the Queen was “determined” to not to miss, but the monarch’s ongoing absence from public duties was forced to continue after it was announced she was suffering from a back injury.
Buckingham Palace confirmed this morning that the Queen had to pull out of Sunday’s Remembrance Day service in London due to a sprained back, an important engagement she was said to have “great regret” over missing.
In a short message, Palace officials made the November 14 announcement to media, including BAZAAR.com, stating, “The Queen, having sprained her back, has decided this morning with great regret that she will not be able to attend today’s Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph. Her Majesty is disappointed that she will miss the service.”
A royal source adds that the head of state’s injury—which is believed to have happened some time on November 11—is unrelated to recent advice from her doctor’s to rest but adds, “It is obviously incredibly unfortunate timing, and nobody regrets [The Queen’s] absence today more deeply than [Her Majesty] herself.”
The source continued, “Her Majesty is deeply disappointed to miss the engagement which she regards as one of the most significant engagements of the year.” BAZAAR understands that despite being forced to remain at Windsor Castle for the days ahead, the Queen will continue as planned with her schedule of “light official duties” next week.
For members of the royal family, the Queen’s absence was noticeable at the Remembrance Day service, which would have required the 95-year-old royal to travel 30 miles by car from Windsor, meet military and political leaders and stand for 30 minutes. The monarch was originally due to watch the proceedings at the Cenotaph war memorial alongside other family members including Duchess Kate and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, from the balcony of the British Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office.
During the service, both Kate—who wore all-black Alexander McQueen coat, black hat and a pair of pearl earrings that once belonged to Princess Diana—and Camilla watched as an emotional-looking Prince Charles laid a wreath on behalf of his mother.
On behalf of The Queen, a wreath is laid by The Prince of Wales at the Cenotaph as part of the National Service of Remembrance.#RemembranceSunday #LestWeForget pic.twitter.com/biwk3kj1YU
The Duke and Duchess attended the National Service of Remembrance with members of The Royal Family at the Cenotaph this morning to pay their respect for those who have served and continue to serve our nation.
#WeRememberThem #LestWeForget pic.twitter.com/oVx7cMm1K7
The annual event commemorates those who have lost their lives in World War I and II and subsequent conflicts, such as the Korean War, Afghanistan War and Iraq War. Following the Service, Prince William took the salute for the official march of veteran organizations on Horse Guards Parade. Princess Anne and the Wessexes also attended.
Today was just the seventh time the Queen had missed the sombre occasion during her 69 year reign and the first time it was health related. The monarch did not attend proceedings in 1959 and 1963 due to her pregnancies with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, respectively, and all other absences were due to overseas tours.
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