The Queen's sad message about growing old as her illness forces her to miss another key event

The Queen ASCOT, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16: Queen Elizabet II during the Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot Racecourse on October 16, 2021 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
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The Queen (opens in new tab) has shared a sad message about growing old after she was forced to miss the Church of England's national assembly.

Her Majesty, who is resting after suffering from a painful injury (opens in new tab) which she sustained before Remembrance Sunday has issued a poignant message through her youngest son, Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex.

Edward addressed the Church of England's national assembly on behalf of his mother in Westminster and said the Queen sent her "sincere and deep apologies" that she couldn't attend.

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He added, "I think you probably understand why, and she regrets that deeply."

The sad message, released in her absence due to illness, the monarch, 95, spoke fondly about her late husband Prince Philip (opens in new tab) and recalled how it has been half a century since they both attended their very first meeting of the General Synod.

Her message, read, "It is hard to believe that it is over 50 years since Prince Philip and I attended the very first meeting of the General Synod.

"None of us can slow the passage of time; and while we often focus on all that has changed in the intervening years, much remains unchanged, including the Gospel of Christ and his teachings."

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip Queen Elizabeth II is applauded after having made a speech at the Inauguration of the Eighth General Synod of the Church of England held at Church House in Westminster, London, Tuesday November 15, 2005. The Queen was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh at the General Synod, which is elected every five years. (Photo by Anwar Hussein Collection/ROTA/WireImage)

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It's been a month since the Queen spent the night in hospital (opens in new tab) after doctors carried out routine checks and since then she's had to cut down her official engagements, including her weekly church visit. (opens in new tab)

The Queen, who was praised for her beauty (opens in new tab) when she arrived in Windsor last month, only returned to work in October following her Balmoral break, but first sparked health fears after she was spotted using a walking stick (opens in new tab) during an outing with Princess Anne.

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In her speech, the Queen reminded the church of its "weighty responsibilities" in making "difficult decisions" about the future.

She said, "In some areas, there will, of course, be differing views and my hope is that you will be strengthened with the certainty of the love of God, as you work together and draw on the Church's tradition of unity in fellowship for the tasks ahead."

The Archbishop of Canterbury told the Earl that the church "draws great comfort" from the Queen's prayers.

The monarch also used the address to describe the coronavirus pandemic as a period "of anxiety, of grief, and of weariness".

Edward, the Queen's youngest son, attended an opening service at nearby Westminster Abbey, where the Archbishop of Canterbury led a number of prayers.

And while the Queen was missing in person from this latest engagement, she is due to carry out virtual audiences later this week, but it's understood she has no major public engagements planned for the rest of the year.

The Queen is expected to spend Christmas with her family next month in Sandringham.

Selina Maycock
Selina Maycock

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 14 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for Goodto.com, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.