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Queen to miss State Opening of Parliament for first time in 59 years

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T

he Queen is to miss the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in 59 years, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The Prince of Wales will read the Queen’s Speech on her behalf following a decision taken by the monarch and her doctors.

Buckingham Palace said the monarch “continues to experience episodic mobility problems” and “reluctantly” decided not to attend as a result.

The Duke of Cambridge, also a future monarch, will also attend the State Opening – the first time William has done so.

It follows the news that the monarch would miss this year’s royal garden parties when they return this summer.

The Queen has withdrawn from a number of engagements in recent months and has suffered from mobility problems.

She is understood to have a busy diary at Windsor this week with a call with Australia undertaken on Monday, and a planned virtual Privy Council and phone audience with the Prime Minister on Wednesday.

However, it is expected that she will undertake some private engagements later in the week.

The last time the monarch missed the State Opening of parliament was in 1963, when she was pregnant with Prince Edward and her speech was read by the Lord Chancellor.

Buckingham Palace 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.”

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