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Queen ‘wants to look the part’ as she undertakes key duty

Queen 'more determined to be seen' says expert

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Her Majesty will be meeting outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the winner of the Tory leadership contest at Balmoral Castle rather than Buckingham Palace, it was confirmed on Wednesday. It is understood this decision was taken to allow the politicians to programme their trip ahead and not risk changing their plans last minute if the Queen found herself to be experiencing mobility issues on the day of their meeting.

However, royal commentator and author Robert Hardman said “there is also an important question of dignity” behind this decision.

He reported a friend telling him: “[The Queen] just wants to look the part.”

Writing in the Daily Mail, Mr Hardman added: “She loves being Queen and has a very clear idea of what people expect in their Queen.”

He continued: “She is certainly not in hiding.

“There will be a photographer and a television camera in attendance next week to capture the proceedings at Balmoral.

“However, she will certainly look more regal and composed if she merely has to walk from her sitting room to the library, in familiar tartan-draped surrounds, rather than weave her way around the refurbishment works and summer tourists at Buckingham Palace the morning after an overnight train journey.”

Moreover, the author provided an insight into the monarch’s health. 

He reported having been told the Queen isn’t suffering from any “new or specific medical condition”.

Rather, she continues to suffer from the same episodic mobility issues she has been battling since last autumn, which makes it difficult for her to, at times, move around with ease.

Recalling the long bank holiday weekend of celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee, held in June, Mr Hardman added: “As her Platinum Jubilee celebrations showed, even a relatively short journey, like the one from Windsor to London and back, can tire her out for several days.”

The sovereign only travelled to London for the Jubilee on two days – on June 2, to receive the salute from her troops and watch the RAF flypast, and on June 5, to make an appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony with her direct heirs to the throne and their families. 

She also stepped out of Windsor Castle on the first day of the Jubilee to switch on the first Platinum Jubilee beacon.

But she pulled out of the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, attended by the wider Royal Family.

The Queen herself acknowledged, at the end of the special celebratory weekend, she had only made a few appearances.

She wrote in a statement thanking the country for coming together in her honour: “While I may not have attended every event in person, my heart has been with you all; and I remain committed to serving you to the best of my ability, supported by my family.”

The meeting between the Queen, Mr Johnson and either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak will take place on September 6, the day after the country will learn who Conservative Party members have elected as their new leader.

The appointment of the new Prime Minister is among the key constitutional duties of the head of state.

During her 70-year-long reign, Her Majesty always met her new incoming Prime Minister with an in-person meeting at Buckingham Palace.

The decision to remain at Balmoral marks a first for the 96-year-old sovereign, who however isn’t the first British monarch to anoint the new political leader away from London.

Earlier this year, Prince Charles stepped in for the Queen to support her in carrying out another important engagement.

In May, the heir to the throne and his firstborn Prince William attended the State Opening of Parliament as Counsellors of State representing the sovereign, with the future King delivering the Queen’s Speech.

The monarch headed to Scotland in late July and hasn’t made a public appearance since.

She officially took residence at her castle on August 9 but, unlike in past years, she attended her welcome ceremony behind closed doors, a move a source said had been taken for her “comfort”.

While the monarch’s absence from the public eye has sparked fears her health may be worsening, Sky News’ James Matthews raised spirits as he reported on Twitter the Queen had been spotted at Balmoral.

He wrote on the social media platform: “The Queen has been seen at Balmoral recently, looking ‘remarkably well’ according to observers, albeit with reduced mobility.

“Using stick on rough ground, but without whilst walking the corgis. Picnicking with lady in waiting at her mother’s fishing lodge.”

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