Queen Elizabeth skips UK Parliament opening

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth did not carry out the opening of parliament on May 10 as the 96-year-old monarch has had a recurrence of mobility issues, Buckingham Palace said.

Her son and heir Prince Charles, accompanied by his eldest son Prince William, stepped in to replace her for the set-piece ceremony in which the monarch sets out the government’s agenda, the palace said.

“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…,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

The queen has been forced to cut back on engagements since being hospitalized for a night last October for an unspecified illness and then being told by her doctors to rest.

The State Opening of Parliament is an event of huge pomp and pageantry which traditionally sees the queen traveling to the assembly in a State Coach, escorted by mounted soldiers in ceremonial uniform, while the Imperial State Crown and other regalia travel ahead in a carriage of their own.

The Queen has missed the occasion twice during her 70-year reign – in 1959, and 1963, when she was pregnant with sons Andrew and Edward. Britain will hold four days of celebration in June to mark the queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

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