Queen seen driving 'is important for Palace' says host
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The Queen’s schedule may be “reassessed” in accordance with her health state, according to royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams. This may mean the monarch will carry out more virtual engagements and fewer in-person visits, as has happened over the past few weeks.
Mr Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk: “I think the current health problem affecting the Queen is likely to lead to a reassessment of her schedules, based on the medical advice received.
“They were being carefully monitored for some years, she hasn’t done long haul flights since 2015, but she was carrying out numerous engagements recently and undoubtedly enjoying the special cachet her presence brings to each event she attends.
“Other royals will deputise and the Queen has shown herself a master of the virtual broadcast and will almost certainly do a great deal virtually.”
Buckingham Palace hasn’t spoken about any ailment affecting the Queen in his latest statements concerning her health but simply stressed her doctors had advised her to take a few weeks to rest.
Despite a change in her diary, Mr Fitzwilliams believes the Queen will remain the UK’s head of state, abiding by the famous pledge she made aged 21.
He said: “Whilst her health permits, she is normally robust, she will continue, just as she swore she would when she dedicated her whole life to the service of the nation and the Commonwealth when she was 21.
“Rumours to the contrary have been around for years and, for the foreseeable future, are likely to be just that!”
In April 1947, the Queen addressed the Commonwealth via airwaves while on a tour with her family.
As the memory of the abdication of King Edward VIII 11 years prior was still fresh, the Queen said: “Through the inventions of science I can do what was not possible for any of them.
“I can make my solemn act of dedication with a whole Empire listening.
“I should like to make that dedication now. It is very simple.
“I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
The Queen has enjoyed strong health over the years and, since the early 2000s, she has been in hospital only a handful of times.
In 2003, she was admitted to hospital for planned surgery on her knee.
A decade later, she was hospitalised after experiencing a nasty bout of gastroenteritis and in 2018 she successfully underwent cataract surgery.
On October 20, she spent her first night in hospital in years, as she was taken to the King Edward VII in London for “preliminary tests”, the nature or results of which have not been disclosed.
Her overnight stay was for “practical reason”, a source said.
On the same day, the palace announced the monarch had been advised by her doctors to rest for a few days and cancel her two-day trip to Northern Ireland.
This statement sparked concerns over the Queen’s health.
The sovereign also cancelled her attendance in person at the evening reception of COP26 – in lieu of which she decided to send a powerful video message addressed to world leaders and decision-makers at the climate change summit.
Buckingham Palace also said last Friday the Queen is to miss the Festival of Remembrance on November 13 after her doctors told her to continue to carry out only light duties and some virtual audiences for at least two more weeks.
Yet, the palace stressed it is Her Majesty’s firm intention to take part in the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph on the following day.
The Queen has not led commemorations in Central London on Remembrance Sunday for a few years now, leaving her firstborn and heir Prince Charles to represent her in this sacred duty.
While the Prince of Wales lays a wreath of poppies at the foot of the Cenotaph on her behalf, the Queen looks on from the balcony of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
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