Stooping the colour: Is the queen starting to crack up?
Usually robust British monarch to miss royal engagement because she feels 'under the weather'
The Queen has pulled out of a service at St Paul’s Cathedral because she is feeling “under the weather”.
After a busy couple of days at Royal Ascot last week, on Tuesday she met a host of people at Buckingham Palace, including David Beckham and Sir Lenny Henry, for the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards Ceremony.
Yesterday, she hosted the the high commissioner for Tonga, Titilupe Fanetupouvava'u Tu'ivakano, and her husband Siaosi Kiu Kaho at the palace.
But Thursday’s royal engagement was a step to far for the queen, who has a full programme in Scotland next week.The Telegraph understands that no doctor was called and her majesty was not taken to hospital. She was understood to be travelling to Windsor for the weekend as planned on Thursday afternoon, and her itinerary in Scotland is scheduled to go ahead unhinged.
A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said: “The queen is feeling under the weather today and has decided not to attend this morning’s service at St Paul’s Cathedral marking the 200th anniversary of the Order of Michael and St George.
“Her majesty will be represented by the Duke of Kent as the grand master of the order.”At the beginning of the month it was revealed the queen had undergone eye surgery to remove a cataract, but wore sunglasses in public rather than cancel her long-planned engagements.
The 92-year-old monarch underwent the successful procedure in May, Buckingham Palace confirmed, and in the following weeks the queen has been seen wearing sunglasses at a number of events, including the Royal Windsor Horse Show and Buckingham Palace garden parties.
It was business as usual for the head of state, who did not cancel or postpone any engagements.
The Court Circular, the public record of the working life of the British royal family, shows no major break in the queen’s work in May, from receiving official visitors at Buckingham Palace to attending the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with the Duke of Edinburgh, who had recovered from a hip replacement operation.There was a short gap between May 4, when she held an investiture, and May 15 when she undertook a series of jobs, including hosting a garden party and welcoming the president of Turkey and his wife to the palace.
The queen, who is in good health, is known for her robust constitution.Robust health over the years
The queen is known for her robust health. Her son, the Duke of York, once described her as being incredibly fit for her age, and the 92-year-old still rides her Fell ponies at Windsor, and drives, mainly around her private estates.
She has called time on her overseas travels, leaving long-haul destinations to the younger members of her family. But she still has a busy diary of events, and in 2017 carried out 296 engagements.
In November 2017, the Prince of Wales led the nation in honouring the country’s war dead on Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph. It was the first time that the queen, as head of state, had watched the ceremony from a nearby balcony, and was seen as a sign of the royal family in transition and an acknowledgement of her age.Just before Christmas 2016, she and the Duke of Edinburgh both fell ill with heavy colds, forcing them to delay their trip to Sandringham by a day. The queen was not well enough to attend the Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene church and also missed the New Year’s Day one.
She later described it as a “particularly grisly mixture of cold and flu”.
She turned 90 in 2016 and, the same year, used the lift rather than stairs to enter parliament for the state opening, avoiding the 26 steps of the royal staircase at the sovereign’s entrance.
Buckingham Palace said the “modest adjustment” to arrangements were made for “the queen’s comfort”. The decision was attributed to the queen suffering from knee pain.In 2014, the Prince of Wales stood in for the queen for part of the Order of the Bath service to avoid her having to make an extra journey up and down some steep steps in full regalia.
In November 2013, the Duke of Cambridge stepped in to represent the queen at an investiture ceremony after she suffered some “mild discomfort” with her ankle after a busy weekend of engagements, including the service of remembrance at the Cenotaph.
Her first hospital stay in 10 years came in 2013 when she was 86 after she suffered symptoms of gastroenteritis and missed an engagement in Swansea when she was due to present St David’s Day leeks to the 3rd Battalion The Royal Welsh.On March 3 2013, she was admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital to be assessed. A week of engagements, including a two-day trip to Rome, was cancelled. The queen spent one night in hospital and left thanking staff and smiling before being driven to Buckingham Palace to rest.
It was thought her public appearances were back on track until Buckingham Palace announced on the morning of the Commonwealth Day Observance service on March 11 that she regrettably could no longer attend “as she continues to recover following her recent illness”.
It was the first Commonwealth Day Observance service she had missed in 20 years, the last occasion being when she had flu in 1993.
The queen, who placed great importance on her role as head of the Commonwealth, did however attend the Commonwealth Reception at Marlborough House on the evening of March 11 to sign the new Commonwealth Charter.
Buckingham Palace insisted it was just the “tail end” of the symptoms and that her condition had not worsened.
But the next day she cancelled her engagements for the rest of the week, with her son, the Duke of York, saying later that it was sensible not to risk her coming out, but that she was not ill.No fuss, please
Her illnesses have been few and far between over the years. She has suffered from back pain, and also had operations to remove torn cartilage from both knees.She caught measles when Prince Charles was two months old in 1949 and had to be separated from her baby son.The first time she was admitted to hospital was in July 1982 when she had a wisdom tooth extracted at the King Edward VII Hospital in central London.
The queen’s no-fuss approach to injury and illness was perfectly illustrated in 1994. She broke her left wrist when her horse tripped during a ride on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk. The break was not diagnosed until almost 24 hours later when her arm was x-rayed and set in plaster at a hospital.
It was the first time she had fallen in many years and the queen had simply brushed herself down, remounted her horse and trotted on back to Sandringham.
– © The Daily Telegraph