The Queen Just Asked Prince Charles To Represent Her For The First Time

Queen Elizabeth is scaling down on her royal duties and has been doing so for a very long time. While her absence from certain events has been more noticeable since the death of Prince Philip and her own health issues developed, the queen has actually been attending fewer events since at least 2012. NDTV reports that in 2012, the monarch attended 425 official engagements, but four years later she only attended 332. That's a whopping 22% fewer engagements than four years prior. Town & Country reports that in 2019, prior to pandemic restrictions, the queen attended 295, and in 2021, the Daily Mail writes that she made a virtual appearance at 118 out of her 192 engagements.  

In February, the queen made her Platinum Jubilee speech and revealed that "in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King." Queen Elizabeth also wanted the public to "give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me," and confirmed that Camilla would be Queen Consort one day. It seems as if the queen does not want there to be any confusion as to who will accede to the throne, and is slowly stepping back from her duties. Now, for the first time, the monarch has asked her son to step in for an engagement she has not missed since 1970, per BBC, possibly due to her ongoing mobility issues.

Queen Elizabeth will miss Maundy Service

Queen Elizabeth has canceled her appearance at the Maundy Service at St. George's Chapel. BBC News reported that it is only the fifth time that the monarch has missed the service, with royal watcher Chris Ship confirming that the previous occasions were "[t]wice because of being away on a Royal Tour (1954, 1970) and twice after the births of Princes Andrew and Edward (1960, 1964)." She has asked Prince Charles to represent her at the service instead. Royal reporter Rebecca English tweeted, "It is the first time the Queen has asked the [Prince of Wales] to step in." English added that Queen Elizabeth "is regretfully unable to commit to attending and with the order of service being printed, Her Majesty was keen that the service was confirmed and all the recipients were aware." Traditionally, the queen presents coins or alms to pensioners, and did not want to upstage the event with a sudden announcement that she could not attend.

While many believed she only recently put her stamp of approval on Charles' future reign, Queen Elizabeth has been playing the long-term game for a while. In 2018, she lauded Charles as a "champion of conservation and the arts, a great charitable leader," per Town & Country. She praised his leadership skills, stating that he is "a dedicated and respected heir to the throne to stand comparison with any in history."  The queen believes in Charles and is slowly handing over the reins.