The queen's poor mobility is forcing major changes to her diary, as Royal Editor Chris Ship reports
The Queen will not be attending the state opening of Parliament on Tuesday for the first time in nearly 60 years.
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."
As early as this morning the Queen was scheduled to be attending the opening of parliament - Royal Editor Chris Ship breaks down the announcement
The episodic mobility issues are said to be a continuation of the problems the Queen has suffered since the autumn.
She is expected to undertake some private engagements later in the week.
A new Letters Patent authorised by the Queen was issued to cover the State Opening delegating to Counsellors of State the royal function of opening a new session of Parliament.
In this instance, it enables Charles and William to jointly exercise that function. No other functions have been delegated by the Queen.
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A Downing Street spokesman said: “The prime minister fully respects the wishes of Her Majesty and is grateful to the Prince of Wales for agreeing to deliver the speech on her behalf.”
The Queen’s throne will remain empty in the House of Lords, and the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, who is also attending, will sit in their usual seats.
William will sit on the opposite side to Camilla.
The Imperial State Crown will still travel to Parliament.