The Queen has dramatically pulled out of attending next week’s Cop26 climate change summit in Glasgow following her secret hospital stay.
Six days before she was due to attend a reception and give a speech at the landmark conference, Buckingham Palace said she had ‘regretfully’ decided not to go. Instead, the 95-year-old sovereign will film a video message at Windsor Castle, which will be broadcast to delegates in Glasgow.
It comes amid fears for the monarch’s health after she was forced to cancel a visit to Northern Ireland at the 11th hour last Wednesday.
Palace sources insisted that her decision not to travel to Scotland was simply a ‘sensible precaution’ in light of her doctor’s advice to rest and that she was determined the conference – which aims to agree crucial global action on climate change – should be a success. Another source said it would have been ‘unwise’ for the Queen to make the 800-mile round trip from Windsor to Glasgow.
A palace spokesman said: ‘Following advice to rest, The Queen has been undertaking light duties at Windsor Castle. Her Majesty has regretfully decided that she will no longer travel to Glasgow to attend the evening reception of Cop26 on Monday, 1st November.
‘Her Majesty is disappointed not to attend the reception but will deliver an address to the assembled delegates via a recorded video message.’
The palace has still not explained why the Queen was taken to hospital last week. After it was announced she had cancelled the Northern Ireland visit, the palace initially said the monarch was resting at Windsor. It was only 36 hours later, after news had leaked out, that a spokesman confirmed she had been admitted to King Edward VII’s hospital in London for ‘preliminary investigations’.
Aides had hoped that the head of state would be well enough to lead the Royal Family at the summit, either in person or via video-link. And earlier on Tuesday she returned to work at Windsor, where she is resting on doctors’ orders, for the first time since last week.
The pictures show her face on a computer screen as she greeted the new ambassador from the Republic of Korea, Gunn Kim, who was at Buckingham Palace. She also spoke to the new Swiss ambassador, Markus Leitner.
The Queen’s decision not to attend Cop26 will be a blow to organisers. There are few people on the world stage who command the same respect and authority as the British monarch. With the head of state missing from the event, it is hoped no world leaders will use her absence as a reason not to attend the summit. It previously emerged that Xi Jinping – president of China, now the planet’s biggest polluter – is skipping the much-anticipated conference.
The Royal Family will still be represented by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge – both of whom have strong environmental campaigning credentials – as well as the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge.
Senior royal aides said the Queen will be working hard behind the scenes to make the summit a success. She will film her video message at Windsor Castle later this week and has let it be known that she ‘very much wants Cop26 to be a success and see meaningful actions’.
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Source: Daily Mail