Why the Queen is missing the State Opening of Parliament today

10 May 2022, 06:35

The Queen is missing the State Opening of Parliament
The Queen is missing the State Opening of Parliament. Picture: Getty Images/Alamy
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

The Queen will miss the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in 59 years.

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It was announced yesterday evening that The Queen will miss the State Opening of Parliament.

This means that The Queen’s Speech will instead be delivered by Prince Charles, with Prince William also attending.

Despite missing a string of public engagements over the past few months, it had been thought Elizabeth II, 96, would be delivering the speech herself.

But on 9 May Buckingham Palace confirmed that she would be staying in Windsor due to ‘mobility problems’.

The Queen is missing her speech this year
The Queen is missing her speech this year. Picture: Getty Images

A spokesperson said in a statement: “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.

“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.”

This will be the first time since 1963 that the Queen will have missed the ceremony, which sets out the government's legislative plans.

Instead, Prince Charles and Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, have jointly been given the authority to open Parliament on her behalf.

The Queen is suffering from 'mobility issues'
The Queen is suffering from 'mobility issues'. Picture: Alamy

The Queen has been suffering from mobility issues after she sprained her back in October, which have caused her to miss a series of engagements.

She also tested positive for Covid-19 in February, but overcame this quickly and attended virtual engagements just weeks later.

She recently pulled out of the Maundy Service at Easter and it was recently announced she wouldn’t be hosting royal garden parties this year.

The only public event she has attended this year was the thanksgiving service for Prince Philip in March.

It is thought she is planning to continue with other appointments this week, including meetings with the Prime Minister and Privy Council.

Meanwhile, the State Opening of Parliament will take place today at around 11am and will officially launch the 2022-2023 parliamentary session.

Prorogation is the name given to the period between the end of a session of the UK Parliament and the State Opening of Parliament that begins the next session.

You will be able to watch the State Opening live on BBC News and Sky News.