NewsThe Queen is absent from an important service

The Queen is absent from an important service

It should have been the royal spring awakening after a long, difficult winter. But things turned out differently: Due to a short-term change of plan, the Commonwealth service has to do without Queen Elizabeth II.

London – The cancellations have almost become a habit in recent months: First Queen Elizabeth II canceled a trip to Northern Ireland, then a visit to the climate conference in Glasgow and now an important service in London’s Westminster Abbey.

Although the queen recently recovered well from her corona infection, it is obvious that the strength of the almost 96-year-old monarch is dwindling.

The service in honor of the Commonwealth of States, where the Queen is now officially represented by her son Prince Charles (73) on Monday, is actually one of the fixed entries in her calendar. The times she has missed the event over the past few decades can be counted on one hand. The Queen’s participation was canceled on Friday evening at short notice and without giving any further reasons – after it had only been officially confirmed two days earlier. 1,500 guests are expected at Westminster Abbey, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

According to sources from the British news agency PA, there is no acute new health problem behind the cancellation. However, the journey from Windsor to Westminster – not even 40 kilometers apart – is said to be the biggest hurdle. According to reports, the Queen has to conserve her strength and think carefully about every appointment. “As you can see, I can’t move,” she said at a recent intimate appointment, pointing to her foot. Now the mobility of the 95-year-old seems to be declining significantly – even when she is being chauffeured. Appearances in a wheelchair should reportedly be unimaginable for the monarch, her cane is the highest of emotions.

Despite her absence, the Queen and her 70th jubilee will play an important role in the service, which is designed to celebrate the interconnectedness, diversity and shared values of the 54 independent member states of the Commonwealth family. The track “Beacon of Brightest Light” by composer Debbie Wiseman, inspired by the platinum anniversary, is set to celebrate its world premiere. The Queen also wanted to send a message despite her absence.

Last year, Commonwealth Day was canceled in its usual celebration because Great Britain was still in the middle of the corona lockdown. A lot has changed since the last service two years ago – the crises in the world have by no means diminished. The circle of royals, on the other hand, who still appear regularly at public events, is getting smaller and smaller.

In 2020, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan were still there, who had only recently announced their withdrawal from the British royal family. In Westminster Abbey, the couple showed up again in the ranks of the royal family. Prince Philip, the Queen’s longtime husband, was not present at Westminster Abbey at the time, but was still alive. In April last year, the Royals finally had to say goodbye to the Duke of Edinburgh, who died at the age of 99.

The cause of Prince Andrew has also come to a head in the meantime, until the abuse scandal surrounding him was filed with a million-dollar comparison. Andrews’ return to the ranks of the royals at public events is considered impossible. Now only a few family members remain who are fully engaged in public service. On the shoulders of Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla as well as Prince William and his wife Kate, the royals in the front row, the entire package of work that the Windsors usually have to carry is weighing more and more.

In the coming weeks, the two couples will be traveling to various Commonwealth countries to represent the Queen in her anniversary year. Heir to the throne Charles will also attend the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting in Rwanda in June on behalf of his mother.

In about two weeks, another service in Westminster Abbey is scheduled in the Queen’s calendar. On March 29, her longtime husband Prince Philip, who died last year, is to be commemorated there. The Queen intends to be there, reports say – at least for now. dpa

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