The Queen has pulled out of giving a speech at the state opening of UK parliament for the first time in nearly 60 years.
Queen Elizabeth II has handed over the reins to Prince Charles to lead the opening of parliament instead, with the British monarch delegating to him the trip to Commons to outline the government’s plans over the next year.
"The Queen continues to experience episodic mobility problems, and in consultation with her doctors has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow," Buckingham Palace said, reported by The Guardian.
"At Her Majesty’s request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, the Prince of Wales will read the Queen’s speech on Her Majesty’s behalf, with the Duke of Cambridge also in attendance."
So all eyes will now be focused on Prince Charles, with the rare delegation of duty acting as a symbol for the future transition between monarchs.
Prince Charles has been working with the 96-year-old Queen more and more in recent years, after the retirement of the late Prince Philip in 2017.
It's the third time in history that Queen Elizabeth has been unable to give the speech herself - when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew in 1959 and right before Prince Edward's birth in 1963.
On the incredibly rare occasion the Queen isn't available to give the speech, she can delegate to the Lord Chancellor to read on her behalf.
She was initially expected to attend and was going to travel by car with her walking cane after choosing to axe the uncomfortable and bumpy traditional carriage ride to Commons.
She was also expected to wear a day dress without a heavy crown, and take the shortest possible route to Commons to try and stave off exhaustion.
The Queen's increasingly frail state has raised questions about which major appearances she will make next with her Platinum Jubilee itching closer.
The Jubilee will involve multiple royal processions, including Trooping the Colour on June 2 and a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.
She has so far missed several Easter events and will not attend this year’s Buckingham Palace summer garden parties, departing from her usual stoic insistence to 'keep calm and carry on'.
Queen Elizabeth tested positive for Covid-19 in February and suffered from 'mild cold-like symptoms', according to the Palace.
She also told hospital staff in a virtual meeting last month that the illness had left her 'very tired and exhausted'.Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo.