The Queen was forced to miss the Remembrance Sunday ceremony today for the first time in 22 years due to a back injury, Buckingham Palace said, adding she is ‘disappointed’ to miss the event.
The palace said the 95-year-old monarch made the decision on Sunday morning ‘with great regret’ and is ‘disappointed’ to miss the event.
Queen Elizabeth had planned on attending the Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph in London on Sunday and it would have marked her first in-person public engagement since she was advised to rest following a night in hospital last month.
It is understood the Queen’s back sprain is unrelated to her doctor’s recent advice to rest.
Buckingham Palace said: ‘The Queen, having sprained her back, has decided this morning with great regret that she will not be able to attend today’s Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph
‘Her Majesty is disappointed that she will miss the service.
‘As in previous years, a wreath will be laid on Her Majesty’s behalf by the Prince of Wales.
‘His Royal Highness, along with the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra will be present at the Cenotaph today as planned.’
The event on Whitehall was given added poignancy by a return to pre-pandemic numbers of participating veterans and military, as well as onlookers.
The Prince of Wales and Prime Minister were among those laying a wreath at the war memorial for the National Service of Remembrance.
Boris Johnson, who appeared sombre as he laid a wreath, said it was a moment to ‘come together to remember those who sacrificed everything in service of our country’.
Only the rustling of leaves and the chirping of birds could be heard as thousands of people held the two-minute silence at 11am in honour of all those who have lost their lives in conflict.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer stood beside the Prime Minister while former prime ministers lined up behind Mr Johnson, with John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May all paying their respects.
The Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Wessex and Princess Royal also laid wreaths at the memorial.
Looking on from a balcony of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office building were the Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge and Countess of Wessex.
The Queen is said to be deeply disappointed to miss the service – which she regards as one of the most significant engagements of the year – and she hopes to continue as planned with her schedule of light official duties next week.
The monarch, who served in World War II as a army driver and mechanic, was due to watch the service at the war memorial in central London from the balcony of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office building.
Her attendance at the service was confirmed by the palace on Thursday after she was ordered to rest by royal doctors just over three weeks ago and spent a night in hospital on October 20 undergoing preliminary tests.
The palace had previously said it was the Queen’s ‘firm intention’ to attend the annual wreath-laying service in Whitehall.
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Source: Daily Mail