Queen not attending Commonwealth Day service, says palace | The Queen

The Queen will not attend the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on Monday, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

The 95-year-old monarch, who is the head of the Commonwealth, had hoped to join the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the event, after recently recovering from Covid-19.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “After discussing the arrangements with the royal household, the Queen has asked the Prince of Wales to represent Her Majesty at the Commonwealth service at Westminster Abbey on Monday.

“The Queen will continue with other planned engagements, including in-person audiences, in the week ahead.”

It is thought the decision was not due to any illness, but related to discussions about the comfort of getting the queen to and from the service.

She will instead send a video message to the congregation and be represented at the event by the next in line to the throne, Prince Charles. The celebration is a favourite of the monarch, with music, poetry and speeches performed in an ode to the “family of nations”.

The news comes hours after it was announced that the Queen will be moving out of Buckingham Palace and into her residence in Windsor Castle for the foreseeable future. She had been undertaking “light duties”, the Palace said, since a bout of ill-health, though was not currently ill. However, she is known to have suffered from mobility issues.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Prince Harry has confirmed he will not return to the UK for Prince Philip’s memorial service on 29 March.

However, the Duke of Sussex did hope to visit his grandmother the Queen soon, the spokesperson said.

In February, the Duke launched legal action against the Home Office for denying his family access to police protection when they visit the country. He was last in Britain to unveil a statue of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, at Kensington Palace.

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