The Queen was ‘very proud’ to see Prince Charles and William step in at the State Opening of Parliament after she had to pull out for mobility issues. However, royal sources said she remained ‘very much’ in charge. This week the Queen was dramatically forced to pull out of the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in 59 years because of her increasing mobility issues.
Prince Charles read her speech for the first time, accompanied by Prince William, who had never attended before. The Sovereign’s Throne in the House of Lords remained symbolically empty, with the monarch watching proceedings on television at Windsor. Questions were inevitably asked about whether the increasingly frail 96-year-old monarch will ever be seen in the Palace of Westminster again.
Yet palace sources were quick to shut down suggestions heir Charles, 73, was acting as a prince regent, The Sun reported. A senior source said: ‘The Queen was very proud to see her son and grandson step in.’ Meanwhile, a friend of Charles said: ‘This is his mum and so of course he always wants her to do these events such as State Opening of Parliament.
‘He would rather step up than her being made to do things that are difficult for her.’ An emotional Prince Charles gazed at his mother’s crown before he announced 38 of Boris Johnson’s Bills for the coming year including new laws to properly punish eco hooligans, capitalise on Brexit, better regulate landlords and ensure Britons can pay their soaring bills.
Prince William and the Duchess of Cornwall flanked the Prince of Wales as he delivered the speech from the consort’s throne, used by his father Prince Philip for decades, in a major constitutional moment for the UK. Poignantly a space remained next to him, where the Queen’s slightly larger missing throne would usually be located, as power continues to slowly transition from Britain’s longest reigning monarch to her son and grandson.
Charles said ministers would ‘help ease the cost-of-living for families’ with a promise to ‘level up opportunity in all parts of the country’. In a nod to his mother’s determination to continue public events, Prince Charles’ speech said that the Queen is looking forward to attending the June celebrations marking her Platinum Jubilee.
Although the Queen was absent yesterday, she is planning to go to Trooping the Colour to start celebrations fro her Jubilee on June 2. She will also speak to Boris Johnson in her weekly phone call with the PM today.
However, worries are likely to persist since the monarch has missed up to 14 major events in just seven months.