The monarch is set to miss the Highland Games – one of the most anticipated events taking place during the sovereign’s annual stay in Balmoral – on September 3, according to sources. The reason cited for the Queen’s absence is “her comfort”.
Her Majesty’s son and heir, Prince Charles, will be in attendance.
The Queen’s mobility issues would make it uncomfortable for the 96-year-old sovereign to remain seated for a long time, it is suggested.
Royal expert Rebecca English tweeted: “The issue would be not just getting her to the Games, but the fact that she would have to sit in public for a long period of time to watch them.
“The Games are classified as a ‘private’ event in HMQ’s calendar and not a public engagement.”
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The Queen has been experiencing episodic mobility issues for several months now, which have forced her to change her working schedule and, at times, pull out of in-person engagements.
Health fears for the Queen were first sparked on October 20, when it was announced she would no longer travel to Northern Ireland to mark the centenary of the nation but, rather, she would follow her doctors’ advice to rest for a few days.
In the following weeks, the monarch canceled all her in-person visits outside of the palace walls scheduled for the rest of 2021.
Among other key events, she missed the reception at the climate change summit COP26 – although she sent a video message to attendees – the Opening Session of the 11th General Synod and the Service of National Remembrance at the Cenotaph in November.
Over the past eight months, the Queen attended a handful of events in person outside her residences.
In March, she arrived at the side entrance of Westminster Abbey to attend the memorial service for Prince Philip.
In May, she stunned royal fans by heading to Paddington Station for the launch of the Elizabeth Line.
On the same month, she also stepped out of Windsor Castle for the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
While she pulled out of the service of thanksgiving on June 3, the monarch made three appearances during the long bank holiday weekend celebrating her record-breaking reign.
At the end of June, the Queen showed her intention to carry on with her work as head of state of the country as she traveled to Scotland for the annual Holyrood Week, during which she met locals, attended traditional ceremonies and held an audience with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The Queen was last seen carrying out a public engagement on July 19, when she met via video link US Ambassador Jane Hartley.
A few days prior, she had gone to Thames Hospice in Maidenhead with Princess Anne to officially open its new building.
Her Majesty began her summer holidays on July 21, when she headed to Craigowan Lodge.
On August 9, she officially took residence at Balmoral Castle – but took part in the traditional welcome ceremony held annually behind closed doors, with sources citing again the Queen’s “comfort” as a reason behind this move.
The Queen’s first public appearance in weeks will now take place on September 6, when she is to meet outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson as well as the winner of the Tory leadership contest – to be announced on Monday.
While she had been tipped to make a round 1,000-mile journey back to the capital for this important constitutional duty, the monarch will instead see the politicians traveling north of the border to see her, it was announced on Wednesday.
This will mark the first time since she acceded to the throne the sovereign will ask a political leader to form the government away from Buckingham Palace.