Queen postpones Privy Council duties after being urged by royal doctors to rest

·4-min read

The Queen has postponed her Privy Council meeting after being advised by royal doctors to rest, Buckingham Palace has said.

The 96-year-old monarch’s latest setback will raise fresh fears for her health the day after she was pictured in a historic audience with Liz Truss, as she appointed her as the new Prime Minister.

Liz Truss becomes PM
The Queen on duty as she welcomes Liz Truss during an audience at Balmoral (Jane Barlow/PA)

A Palace spokesman said: “After a full day yesterday, Her Majesty has this afternoon accepted doctors’ advice to rest.

“This means that the Privy Council meeting that had been due to take place this evening will be rearranged.”

The Queen remains at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire and the latest advice does not involve a hospital stay.

Platinum Jubilee
The Queen during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June (Frank Augustein/PA)

The nation’s longest-reigning monarch has ongoing mobility issues and had been due to hold the Privy Council virtually on Wednesday.

During the proceedings, Ms Truss would have taken her oath as First Lord of the Treasury and new cabinet ministers would have been sworn into their roles, and also made privy counsellors if not already appointed as one in past.

There is no constitutional issue with the delay to the proceedings, the palace said.

The smiling head of state looked bright but frail and used a walking stick during Tuesday’s audience, which followed a visit from outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson as he tendered his resignation.

It was the first time in her 70-year reign that the Queen has appointed a PM at Balmoral.

Liz Truss becomes PM
The Queen waiting in the Drawing Room before receiving Liz Truss (Jane Barlow/PA)

The two politicians made the 1,000 mile round trip from London, rather than making the monarch, who has suffered episodic mobility problems since last October, travel back from Scotland.

The Queen is on her summer break on the Balmoral estate, and not due to return until early October.

With her hair neatly curled, the monarch, dressed in a blouse, cardigan and a Balmoral tartan skirt, stood as she met Ms Truss.

Mr Johnson arrived at around 11.16am and left around 39 minutes later at 11.55am, while Ms Truss arrived at 12.22pm and departed around 33 minutes later at 12.55pm.

Liz Truss becomes PM
Liz Truss is greeted by the Queen’s Equerry Lieutenant Colonel Tom White and her Private Secretary Sir Edward Young at Balmoral (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The Queen also had another duty afterwards recorded in the Court Circular.

She invested her Communications Secretary Donal McCabe with the Insignia of a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO), an honour in the monarch’s personal gift for service to the royal family.

A number of guests was also seen leaving the castle before the first audiences began. The Queen often has family members and friends to stay during her annual holiday.

The Sun reported recently that the Prince of Wales had been making regular morning visits to see his mother as she continues to struggle with her mobility, with the unplanned visits considered highly unusual.

Crossrail
The Queen unveils a plaque to mark the Elizabeth line’s official opening at Paddington station in London in May (Andrew Matthews/PA)

She missed the Braemar Gathering highland games last weekend, which she usually attends each year.

Buckingham Palace has declined to give an ongoing commentary on the monarch’s health.

During her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the Queen only travelled to Buckingham Palace twice, first for her Trooping the Colour balcony appearance and then for a finale after the pageant.

She spends most of her time at Windsor Castle, 22 miles from central London, living there during the pandemic and while major renovations take place at the Palace, and for her comfort.

Audiences at Windsor Castle
The Queen during at audience at Windsor (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

She secretly spent a night in hospital in October undergoing tests and was then under doctors’ orders to rest for the next three months, missing the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph service and Cop26 climate change talks.

The Queen caught Covid in February, and suffered from mild cold-like symptoms but said the virus left her “very tired and exhausted”.