The Queen, 94, will miss the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in 59 years tomorrow due to mobility issues with Prince Charles set to stand in for his mother supported by William. Her Majesty, who has been battling mobility problems for several months, has reluctantly made the decision not to attend for only the third time in her 70-year reign. Aides were said to have put in place contingency plans that included a ‘discreet wheelchair route’, but it is understood she will not attend due to difficulties walking. Instead, Prince Charles is set to stand in following discussions between the Queen and her aides. He will be supported by his wife Camilla and Prince William.
A spokesperson for Buckingham 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 tomorrow. ‘At Her Majesty’s request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, The Prince of Wales will read The Queen’s speech on Her Majesty’s behalf, with The Duke of Cambridge also in attendance.’ A No 10 spokesman 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’s throne will remain empty in the House of Lords, and the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will sit in their usual seats. William will sit on the opposite side to Camilla, while the Imperial State Crown will also still travel to Parliament.