The Queen forced to pull out of major ceremony suffering 'episodic mobility issues'

The Queen
(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen has been forced to pull out of a major ceremony after suffering from 'episodic mobility issues', Buckingham Palace confirms.

The Queen (opens in new tab) has pulled out of the official State Opening of Parliament today due to struggling with her mobility.

Her Majesty, who turned 96 last month, is celebrating 70 years on the throne (opens in new tab) but in recent months she has been battling health issues and they have forced her to pull out of public engagements  - one of which is breaking a tradition of almost 60 years.

Buckingham Palace confirmed that Queen Elizabeth II wouldn't be attending the constitutional ceremony, which sets out the government's legislative plans, for the first time since 1963.

It looked like the Queen would attended up until last night when it was confirmed her majesty would not attend Westminster because of "episodic mobility problems".

Instead, Prince Charles has been drafted in to deliver the speech today (Tuesday 10th May) as he is second in line to the throne (opens in new tab).

A Buckingham Palace statement said the Queen, in consultation with her doctors, had reluctantly decided not to attend the State Opening. Prince Charles and Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, have jointly been given the authority to open Parliament on her behalf.

It reads, "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.”

A No 10 spokesperson added, “The prime minister fully respects the wishes of Her Majesty and is grateful to the Prince of Wales for agreeing to deliver the speech on her behalf.”

The Queen

(Image credit: Getty)

What time is the State Opening of Parliament on TV?

The State Opening of Parliament will take place between 11am and 12.30pm and it will be aired live on Parliament TV and broadcast on the House of Lords Twitter feed.

The main elements of the ceremony take place between 11am and 12.30pm, including:

  • 11.20am arrival of Prince Charles and Prince William
  • 11.27am the Royal Procession minus the Queen but the Imperial State Crown will still be brought to Parliament
  • 11.30am the Queen is usually seated on the Throne but it's understood that the throne will be left empty in the absence of her Majesty, with Prince Charles, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince William expected to be seated in front of the assembled parliamentarians.

On completion of the speech, the procession returns to the Robing Room prior to departure.

The Queen is understood to have a busy diary at Windsor this week with a call with Australia on Monday, and a planned virtual privy council and phone audience with the prime minister on Wednesday. She is expected to undertake some private engagements later in the week.

Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

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, 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.