Queen’s health latest as ‘sad and regretful’ Prince William takes her place

A "sad and regretful" Prince William appeared at the State Opening of Parliament amid continued worries over the health of the Queen.

Her Majesty, celebrating her Platinum Jubilee this year, was unable to attend the State Opening for the first time in 59 years, one of the most important events on the Royal calendar.

She has only previously missed the day when pregnant with Princes Andrew and Edward and was represented by Prince Charles this year.

A body language expert indicated that future king William looked "sombre" and became an "invisible man" during the ceremony.

Judi James said: "William was almost the invisible man here. Tugging at his waistcoat on arrival he then appeared to keep his hands clasped in the fig-leaf position in front of his torso for the entire event, only placing them on his lap once he sat down.

"He walked with his hands clasped like this, suggesting a lowering of his own status and presence. His facial expression suggested sadness and regret."

So why wasn't the Queen present at the State Opening?

What is the latest on the health of the Queen?

  • Queen still 'very much' in charge despite Charles and William stepping in, say insiders

The Queen dropped out of the State Opening of Parliament thanks to "episodic mobility" issues.

The Palace said: "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."

Recent health scares, such as getting Covid, over the past year after the death of the Queen's husband Prince Philip in April 2021 have seen her miss a number of important events she usually attends.

She missed the Maundy Easter service recently and will not be attending the annual Buckingham Palace garden parties.

Will Charles take over from the Queen?

There are no signs the Queen will abdicate – one royal expert has said abdication is a "dirty word" for Her Majesty.

The Queen's uncle King Edward VIII stepped down from the throne after a crisis sparked by his wish to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

When he gave up the throne, it meant his younger brother George VI, the Queen's father, took the Crown.

However, with continued mobility issues and health concerns, royals like next-in-line Prince Charles and Prince William may begin to be front and centre at some of the most important events.

Sky News political correspondent Rhiannon Mills shed some light on the situation, telling the Sky News Daily podcast: "This is not a monarch who wants to abdicate, abdication is a dirty word for her.

"She does not want to cause unnecessary uncertainty or worry for us all and I think what she is trying to do is sort of future-proof the monarchy. Part of that is going, 'look, I have got confidence in what is coming in the future'.

"I think we really had a snapshot of what the future is going to look like. That is Prince Charles' destiny and we saw that in action."

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