The Queen today held a virtual audience with the new High Commissioner for Saint Lucia after announcing she will miss this year’s Buckingham Palace garden parties.
Other royals were asked to portray the 96-year-old monarch because she would have had to stand for more than an hour and move through the rows to greet people.
The head of state, who has suffered mobility and health problems in recent months, will not be at the events that are being held for the first time since 2019.
And royal expert Angela Levin said today: “It’s a good move for the Queen not to attend garden parties, as there would be too much standing.” However, what a shame.
It comes as the Queen continued her desk duties from Windsor Castle today as she held a virtual audience via video link to welcome Anthony Severin, the new High Commissioner for Saint Lucia, who was at Buckingham Palace. in London.
They would likely have discussed last month’s tour of 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, with protesters urging the Queen to apologize for slavery seeking reparations.
Windsor Castle resident Queen Elizabeth II appears on a screen via video link during a virtual audience at Buckingham Palace in London today.
The Queen today receives Anthony Severin, new High Commissioner for Saint Lucia
Edward and Sophie were greeted by a group of protesters in St. Lucia before a trip to a cocoa plantation, who held up banners reading “repatriation with reparations.”
They also faced similar demonstrations in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where some carried signs reading “compensation now” and “Britain, your debt is due.”
Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister also urged the couple to use their ‘diplomatic influence’ to deliver ‘restorative justice’ while in the country.
Edward was criticized for “disinterest” in Gaston Browne’s speech by anti-monarchist campaigners, after he was seen laughing nervously when asked to reply.
The Earl joked that he had not been taking notes during Mr. Browne’s opening remarks, so he was unable to respond to all the points he had raised.
Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex meet Philip Pierre, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, at his residence on the Caribbean island at the start of their tour on April 22 last month.
As for royal Garden Parties, there are normally up to three at Buckingham Palace each summer, plus another at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
After parties were canceled for the past two years due to the pandemic, the royal helpers announced this morning that they would be returning this summer.
The three events at Buckingham Palace will take place on the next three Wednesdays this month, May 11, 18 and 25. The Holyroodhouse party will be June 29.
The parties will be held in the year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and will be held for guests in recognition of their positive contributions to the communities of Great Britain.
The Queen attends an audience 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 this year’s Garden Parties, with details of attendance to be confirmed in due course.”
There will also be an ‘Annual Not Forgotten Association Garden Party’ next Thursday 12 May, which will be hosted by Princess Anne, who is a patron of the charity.
The Not Forgotten Association provides entertainment, leisure and recreation for the wounded, injured or sick in service and for disabled men and women who have served.
The organization’s Garden Party, which will also be held at Buckingham Palace, will bring together more than 2,000 beneficiaries of all ages and from all services.
The Queen is driven through Sandringham to her helicopter to return to Windsor on April 27.
The queen attended a service commemorating the life of her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, in March with royals and a congregation of hundreds.
He reached his Platinum Jubilee in February, beat Covid after testing positive that month and celebrated his 96th birthday privately on April 21 at Sandringham.
Last October, he spent a night in the hospital and spent the next three months on doctors’ orders to do only light duty, missing several events.
The Queen has been using a cane in public since she attended a service to mark the centenary of 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 as to whether the Queen will attend the State Opening of Parliament next Tuesday, which could see her represented by the Prince of Wales.
Prince Charles is the likely candidate to read the Queen’s Speech, which sets out the Government’s policies and proposed legislation for the new parliamentary session.
Since 2016, the monarch has used the Sovereign Entrance elevator instead of the stairs to enter and exit the Palace of Westminster.
The Queen has opened Parliament all but twice 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 party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on July 3, 2019
The ceremony did not take place in 2020 and a reduced capacity Covid-protected State Opening of Parliament was held last year with the Queen in attendance.
On Tuesday, the queen’s hopes of winning the Epsom Derby during her jubilee year ended after her horse Reach For The Moon and two others were withdrawn.
She is a passionate horse owner and breeder and would have been looking forward to seeing her horses take on the best in the world in the famous classic.
The race, which organizers hope the monarch will attend, will take place over the bank holiday weekend in June, when celebrations mark 70 years of the Queen’s reign.