It’s a topic that royal courtiers had hoped to put off until at least the latter half of this year, but insiders say the Queen’s future can no longer be avoided.
This follows Her Majesty’s, who turns 96 next month, absence from the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, where aides decided to cancel her participation at such short notice that her name was still written on the order of service.
Insiders believe the decision was made with the Queen‘s comfort in mind as she heals from COVID-19 and deals with mobility concerns that have caused her to use a cane recently.
According to palace sources, the nearly one-hour trip from Windsor Castle to London would have been “too much” for the monarch, who, according to the British newspaper The Sun, hasn’t been allowed to walk her beloved corgis since September.
Prince Charles would attend as the guest of honor in her place, with the future monarch, 73, his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, all representing her magnificently, according to the Queen’s office.
“You could tell they were just putting on a brave face,” says an onlooker. “They didn’t stop to speak to as many people as usual, and when anyone enquired after the Queen, they gave benign answers.”
“Everyone wants to see her end her reign naturally,” says a source. “But some rather uncomfortable conversations are now being had at a very senior level.”
As per NewIdea, their insider adds there are “real doubts” over whether she’ll be able to attend a memorial service for her late husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, later this month, with one source speculating that she may have to use a wheelchair.
“The bigger question is whether she’ll be physically able to attend her own Platinum Jubilee in June,” confides the source. “It’s hoped they’ll at least be able to get her there, and there’s no way she’d want to miss it – but it is a sensitive matter.”
The insider says Charles is “already King in all but name, with the way he’s been stepping in for his mother recently”.