Home U.S Now the Queen could pull out of memorial for Prince Philip

Now the Queen could pull out of memorial for Prince Philip

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Now the Queen could pull out of memorial for Prince Philip: Fears grow that Her Majesty, 95, is not fit enough to attend thanksgiving event at Westminster Abbey this month after ‘regretful’ decision to skip Monday’s Commonwealth Service

  • Queen still hopes to attend Prince Philip’s service but may not be well enough
  • She has ruled out option of using wheelchair at this stage and wants to walk
  • Queen was last week moving around Windsor Castle without a stick 

Fears were growing among courtiers last night that the Queen may be forced to pull out of the thanksgiving service for Prince Philip at the end of the month.

It comes after Buckingham Palace announced she was not fit enough to attend tomorrow’s Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey.

While the Queen ‘still hopes’ to attend Philip’s service, which will be held at the abbey on March 29, she may not be mobile enough to do so.

The Mail on Sunday understands that she has ruled out the option of using a wheelchair at this stage and remains determined to continue to walk for as long as possible.

The Queen, who turns 96 next month and has recently recovered from Covid, was last week moving around Windsor Castle without a walking stick and is not suffering from a new illness. Nevertheless, her mobility issues remain at the heart of a ‘regretful’ decision taken late on Friday to pull out of the annual Commonwealth Service, which is usually a highlight in her calendar.

Instead, she will be represented at the service by the Prince of Wales. The Queen will deliver a message to the Commonwealth and will watch the service on television from Windsor Castle.

While the Queen ‘still hopes’ to attend Philip’s service, which will be held at the abbey on March 29, she may not be mobile enough to do so. Pictured: Britain's Queen Elizabeth receives Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Windsor Castle, in Windsor on March 7

While the Queen ‘still hopes’ to attend Philip’s service, which will be held at the abbey on March 29, she may not be mobile enough to do so. Pictured: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth receives Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Windsor Castle, in Windsor on March 7

But the news has raised concerns in Palace corridors about engagements later this year.

Detailed plans are being configured to find a way in which the Queen may comfortably attend the service for Philip, Britain’s longest-serving consort and the beloved husband she once referred to as ‘my strength and stay’. His funeral was held last April at Windsor Castle when pandemic rules stipulated that only 30 people could attend.

It had been hoped that this year’s thanksgiving service would provide an opportunity for more friends and dignitaries to mark his lifetime of duty.

The thanksgiving service has already been cut down to a relatively brief 50 minutes and to save the Queen from the long walk down the aisle to reach her seat, a side door may be deployed. Yet even that may prove too much.

Penny Junor, a royal biographer, said: ‘The Queen is extraordinary. She has gone on with great vigour for years but we have to remember she is 95 and not superhuman.

‘In other respects, she is on great form. The Queen is fantastic on Zoom calls, but I think events where she is required to walk or go up any steps are not going to be feasible any more. And fortunately we have the technology that means she is not going to disappear from view altogether.’

Detailed plans are being configured to find a way in which the Queen may comfortably attend the service for Philip, Britain's longest-serving consort and the beloved husband she once referred to as'my strength and stay'

Detailed plans are being configured to find a way in which the Queen may comfortably attend the service for Philip, Britain’s longest-serving consort and the beloved husband she once referred to as ‘my strength and stay’

Last month, while receiving the incoming and outgoing Defence Services Secretaries, the Queen quipped: ‘I’m here. Good morning. Well, as you can see I can’t move.’

She gestured at her feet before shuffling forward slightly to greet the pair. A Palace source later said her comments referred to feeling stiff rather than being unwell.

The Queen has not appeared at a formal public engagement since October 19.

Yet she has carried out numerous video calls and last Monday met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Windsor Castle.

It seems increasingly unlikely, however, that she will make many appearances during this summer’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

A Palace source said: ‘Unlike previous jubilees, the Queen won’t be at every event, but she will be at the significant moments.’

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