Prince Charles has been placed ‘on stand-by’ for the state opening of Parliament, and he may even read the Queen’s Speech himself if his mother is too unwell, according to The Metro. The annual event, which takes place in May, typically sees the Queen address MPs and Lords at the start of the Parliamentary year.
Sitting on the throne in the upper chamber, the 95-year-old monarch reads a speech written by the Government, which lists legislation set to be introduced in the upcoming session.
She has only missed two speeches since becoming Queen – in 1959 and 1963 when she was pregnant with Andrew and Edward. However, plans have now been drawn up in case she misses a third occasion amid ongoing health issues.
In October, Her Majesty spent a night in hospital for ‘preliminary investigations’, forcing her to miss church and a planned trip to Northern Ireland. A month later, the 95-year-old cancelled an address to the COP26 conference due to illness, addressing delegates via a video message instead.
She also pulled out of attending the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph last year after spraining her back.
In February, the Queen tested positive for Covid. Buckingham Palace said she was experiencing ‘mild cold-like symptoms’ but expected to ‘continue light duties at Windsor over the coming weeks.’
An increasingly rare public appearance that month saw her walking with a stick, as she remarked to military leaders: ‘Well, as you can see, I can’t move.’