The Queen held a virtual meeting with the new High Commissioner of St Lucia today after announcing that she will be absent from this year’s Buckingham Palace garden parties.
Other royals were asked to represent the 96-year-old because she would have had to stand for more than an hour and go down queues to greet people.
The head of state, who has been struggling with mobility and health problems in recent months, will not attend the events for the first time since 2019.
Royal expert Angela Levine said today: ‘It is a good decision for the Queen not to attend garden parties because there will be a lot of situations. What a shame though.
It comes as the Queen continued her desk duties from Windsor Castle today as she conducted a virtual audience via video link to welcome Anthony Severin, the new High Commissioner of St Lucia, who was at Buckingham Palace in London.
They may have discussed last month’s tour to the Caribbean island on behalf of the Queen by her son Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex received a mixed reception during their visit, and the Queen was urged to apologize for slavery by protesters seeking reparations.
Queen Elizabeth II, a resident of Windsor Castle, appears on screen via video link during a virtual audience at Buckingham Palace in London today.
Today the Queen receives Anthony Severin, the new High Commissioner for Saint Lucia
Edward and Sophie were greeted by a group of protesters in St. Lucia before a trip to the cocoa plantation, where they held signs that read “Homecoming with Reparations.”
They also faced similar demonstrations in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, with some holding signs saying “compensation now” and “Britain you have it due”.
The couple were also urged to use their “diplomatic influence” to provide “reparative justice” by the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda while in the country.
Edward has been criticized for his lack of interest in Gaston Brown’s speech by anti-monarchy activists, after he was seen laughing nervously when asked to respond.
Earl joked that he wasn’t taking notes during Mr. Brown’s opening remarks, so he couldn’t respond to all the points he made.
Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, will meet Philippe Pierre, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, at his residence on the Caribbean island at the start of their tour last month on April 22.
For royal garden parties, there are usually as many as three at Buckingham Palace each summer, plus another at Holyroodhouse House in Edinburgh.
After the past two years have seen concerts canceled due to the pandemic, royals aides announced this morning that they will be back this summer.
The three events will take place at Buckingham Palace on the next three Wednesdays of this month – May 11, 18 and 25. The Holyroodhouse party will take place on June 29.
The parties will take place in the year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and will be held for guests in recognition of their positive contributions to communities across Britain.
The Queen attends a meeting with the President of Switzerland at Windsor Castle on April 28
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said today: “Her Majesty the Queen will be represented by other members of the Royal Family at the Garden Parties this year, with attendance details to be confirmed in due course.”
There will also be a “Not Forgotten Association’s Annual Garden Party” next Thursday, May 12 which will be hosted by Princess Anne, patron of the charity.
The Not Forgotten Association provides recreation, leisure and entertainment services for wounded, injured or sick patients and for former disabled men and women.
The organization’s garden party, which will also take place at Buckingham Palace, will bring together more than 2,000 beneficiaries of all ages and from all services.
The Queen is flown via Sandringham to her helicopter back to Windsor on April 27
The Queen attended a service to commemorate the life of her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, in March with senior members of the royal family and a gathering of hundreds.
She reached a platinum jubilee in February, beat Covid after testing positive that month, and celebrated her 96th birthday privately on April 21 in Sandringham.
Last October, she spent a night in the hospital and spent the next three months on doctors’ orders to perform only light tasks and missed a number of events.
The Queen has been using a walking stick in public since she attended a centenary party for 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 over whether the Queen will attend the official opening of Parliament next Tuesday, which may be represented by the Prince of Wales.
Prince Charles is the likely candidate to read the Queen’s speech outlining government policies and proposed legislation for the new parliamentary session.
Since 2016, the King has used the elevator at the Sovereign entrance rather than the stairs upon arrival and departure from the Palace of Westminster.
The Queen has opened all but twice Parliament during her reign.
The exceptions were 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 ceremony at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, July 3, 2019
The ceremony did not take place in 2020, and last year, the Covid Safe Opening Ceremony of Parliament was organized in the presence of the Queen.
On Tuesday, the Queen’s hopes of winning the Epsom derby during her jubilee year ended after pulling her horse Reach For The Moon and two others.
She is a passionate owner and groomer and has been looking forward to seeing her horses beat the best in the world at the famous classic.
The race, which organizers hope the King will attend, takes place over the June punk weekend when festivities mark 70 years of the Queen’s reign.
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