Which Royal Is Stepping Up For Queen Elizabeth?

In the weeks following Queen Elizabeth II's health scare — one which required hospitalization and a prescribed fourteen-day period of rest following discharge — it seems that members of the British royal family and their highest government officials are doing everything within their power to create fail-safes for every possible future scenario. And while there's been no direct statement outright, it seems that Elizabeth's best friend and cousin, the 84-year-old Princess Alexandra, might also be doing her part to aid Britain's ruling sovereign, all in the form of public appearances.

Though Princess Alexandra, a noted philanthropist in her own right, has had plenty of health scares of her own in the recent past, including, per Royal Central, a polymyalgia rheumatica diagnosis in 2014 (a condition which causes muscle stiffness and pain) and a broken wrist in 2017, it seems the royal and confidante is far from out for the count. But is the royal update about Alexandra's engagements a mere coincidence? Or is there something more at play here?

Princess Alexandra, Elizabeth II's cousin, is stepping up to the plate

As Royal Central observed on November 2, Princess Alexandra (pictured above in 2017) has "noticeably stepped up the number of engagements she has been carrying out over the past few weeks," which, as the statement emphasized, runs counter to any preconceived notion or "speculation that she may have retired from public duties." The timing of the announcement, however, might have an unintentional dual message or purpose, indicating that the ramping up of Alexandra's public-facing appearances or related work could be directly correlated to Queen Elizabeth II's health-related retreat in October. 

While the tenuous connection and timing between the site's press release and Elizabeth's health troubles is an inference at best — the statement made no mention of the queen's current condition or her most recent hospitalization — it did its best to quash any rumors that Alexandra's former retreat from public life had anything to do with her own struggles. As the site noted, Alexandra "conducted nine engagements in October, with a further five carried events held in September" — a steep uptick from ten engagements during the entirety of 2020. The sudden increase, per the site, mostly had to do with the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw practically everyone reduce their workload across the Royal Family. Further, according to a 2020 report from Town & Country, Alexandra has long been Elizabeth's stand-in at events both in the U.K. and abroad, so if anyone is prepped to (temporarily) take on the queen's duties, it's her.