Queen suffers ‘setback’ amid public anxiety for her health, royal writer says

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The nation’s anxiety over the Queen’s health will be heightened as the monarch suffered another setback and missed the Remembrance Sunday service, a royal author has said (Alastair Grant/PA) (PA Wire)
The nation’s anxiety over the Queen’s health will be heightened as the monarch suffered another setback and missed the Remembrance Sunday service, a royal author has said (Alastair Grant/PA) (PA Wire)

The nation’s anxiety over the Queen’s health will be heightened as the monarch suffered another setback and missed the Remembrance Sunday service, a royal author has said

Penny Junor suggested the Queen is entering a new phase of her reign, during which she will not be seen as much in public.

Ms Junor said: “It’s very sad for the Queen because this is the one event in the year that she really, really likes to be at.

The Queen at the Cenotaph service in 2019 (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Archive)
The Queen at the Cenotaph service in 2019 (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Archive)

“Remembering the war dead is a very, very important part for her annual calendar.

“The public will be very sad and anxious to hear of yet another setback but clearly she must follow the advice and get herself well.”

The Queen has been under doctors’ orders to rest for more than three weeks after spending a night in hospital for preliminary tests.

Buckingham Palace had said it was her “firm intention” to be at the Cenotaph and announced on Thursday that she would be at the ceremony.

But on Sunday morning, less than two hours before she was due to arrive, the Palace said she had sprained her back and could no longer attend.

Penny Junor suggested the Queen would be seen more on video calls rather than in public (Buckingham Palace/PA) (PA Media)
Penny Junor suggested the Queen would be seen more on video calls rather than in public (Buckingham Palace/PA) (PA Media)

Ms Junor said: “It’s not surprising because she is 95 years old.

“We’re so used to seeing her out and about and looking years younger than she is that I think we’ve been lulled into thinking she can go on at this kind of pace forever.

“Clearly she can’t. There comes a time in everybody’s life when they have to admit that they are getting older and can’t do the things that they perhaps want to do.”

Suggesting it appears to mark a new phase in the Queen’s reign, Ms Junor said: “I think we will see more of her on video and probably less of her in the flesh.

“They should keep her warm and tucked up at home and not exposing herself to the possibility of infections.”

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said: “There are shades of the time her mother was a similar age and things got progressively more difficult.

“But the Queen Mother soldiered on and there is no reason to think the Queen won’t, but this is a setback.

The Queen Mother outside Clarence House on her 101st birthday in 2001 (Tony Harris/PA) (PA Archive)
The Queen Mother outside Clarence House on her 101st birthday in 2001 (Tony Harris/PA) (PA Archive)

“Clearly there are mobility issues. Getting from Windsor with a sprained back and having to stand for 15 to 20 minutes at the Cenotaph is not helpful for somebody of 95.”

Mr Little said the Queen’s calendar in late November and December is traditionally less public-facing with more behind-the-scenes events.

The Queen usually also hosts a lunch for her wider family the week before Christmas.

“You would hope there would be a pre-Christmas family lunch for the extended family, hopefully at Windsor,” Mr Little said.

“That would be a display of normality as far as the Queen is concerned.

“But in terms of official engagements before the end of the year, I don’t think we will see her out and about doing anything officially, even if she recovers from the sprained back.”

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