The Queen will not attend this year’s Garden Parties and will instead be represented by other members of the Royal Family, Buckingham Palace revealed today.
The 96-year-old, who has been suffering from mobility and health issues in recent months, will not be at the events which are taking place for the first time since 2019.
The decision is likely down to the format of the parties in that the monarch would have had to stand for more than an hour and move down the lines greeting people.
Royal expert Angela Levin said today: ‘It’s a good decision for the Queen not to attend garden parties as there would be too much standing. What a shame though.’
It comes as the Queen continued her duties from Windsor Castle today as she carried out a virtual audience via videolink to receive Anthony Severin, the new High Commissioner for Saint Lucia, who was at Buckingham Palace in London.
Queen Elizabeth II, in residence at Windsor Castle, appears on a screen via videolink during a virtual audience at Buckingham Palace in London today
The Queen receives Anthony Severin, the new High Commissioner for Saint Lucia, today
Normally there are up to three Garden Parties at the Buckingham Palace Garden each summer, as well as another at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
After the past two years saw the parties cancelled because of the pandemic, royal aides announced this morning that they would return this summer.
The three events at Buckingham Palace will take place on the next three Wednesdays of this month – May 11, 18 and 25. The Holyroodhouse party will be on June 29.
The parties will take place in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year and held for guests in recognition of their positive contributions to communities across Britain.
The Queen attends an audience with Switzerland’s president at Windsor Castle on April 28
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said today: ‘Her Majesty The Queen will be represented by other Members of the Royal Family at this year’s Garden Parties, with details on attendance to be confirmed in due course.’
There will also be a ‘Not Forgotten Association Annual Garden Party’ next Thursday, May 12 which will be hosted by Princess Anne who is patron of the charity.
The Not Forgotten Association provides entertainment, leisure and recreation for the serving wounded, injured or sick and for ex-service men and women with disabilities.
The Garden Party for the organisation, which will also be held at Buckingham Palace, will bring together more than 2,000 beneficiaries of all ages and from all services.
The Queen is driven through Sandringham to her helicopter to return to Windsor on April 27
The Queen attended a service commemorating the life of her late husband the Duke of Edinburgh in March with senior royals and a congregation of hundreds.
She reached her Platinum Jubilee in February, overcame Covid after testing positive that month, and celebrated her 96th birthday privately on April 21 at Sandringham.
Last October, she spent a night in hospital and spent the following three months under doctors’ orders to only conduct light duties and missed a number of events.
The Queen has been using a walking stick in public since she attended a service marking the centenary of the Royal British Legion last October.
2019 — The Queen attends a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London on May 29, 2019
There will be speculation about whether the Queen will attend the State Opening of Parliament next Tuesday which could see her represented by the Prince of Wales.
Prince Charles is the likely candidate to read the Queen’s Speech which sets out the Government’s policies and proposed legislation for the new parliamentary session.
Since 2016 the monarch has used the lift at Sovereign’s Entrance rather than the stairs when arriving and leaving the Palace of Westminster.
The Queen has opened Parliament all but two times during her reign.
The exceptions were in 1959, the year she was pregnant with the Duke of York, and 1963, when she was pregnant with the Earl of Wessex.
2019 — The Queen at a party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on July 3, 2019
The ceremony was not held in 2020 and last year a reduced capacity Covid secure State Opening of Parliament was staged with the Queen present.
On Tuesday, the Queen’s hopes of winning the Epsom Derby during her Jubilee year ended after her horse Reach For The Moon and two others were withdrawn.
She is a passionate horse owner and breeder and would have been looking forward to seeing her horses take on the best in the world in the famous classic.
The race, which organisers hope the monarch will attend, is being staged during the June Bank Holiday weekend when celebrations mark the Queen’s 70-year reign.