Queen Elizabeth Will Miss An Annual Event For The First Time In Over 50 Years

Ever since Queen Elizabeth was hospitalized in October 2021, she has occasionally missed public events because of medical issues. This year, in particular, the queen has increasingly avoided engaging with the public after she contracted COVID-19 in February. In April, the Daily Mail revealed that she's also experiencing some mobility issues. In fact, Queen Elizabeth herself joked, "Well, as you can see, I can't move," when she met high-ranking defense officials in February. The queen was seen using a walking cane as the men accommodated her by coming forward to greet her.

Later that month, the queen canceled an appearance that she only missed four times during her 70-year reign. BBC reported that Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, stepped in for the monarch for the Maundy Thursday service after she previously indicated that she would not be able to attend it. This was the first time in 52 years that Queen Elizabeth missed the service, and she asked Charles to take over one of the service's special traditions. Charles handed out 96 Maundy coins, one for each year of the queen's life, to pensioners who have made a difference in their community. Apparently, the duke spoke to each of the recipients briefly.

Now, Buckingham Palace has announced that Queen Elizabeth will not attend another annual event. 

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles withdraw from Easter service

Queen Elizabeth will not attend the Easter Sunday service at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle this year, per Hello! Traditionally, she accepts flowers from children in the crowd before the service, per the royal website. Now, her public engagements, and seemingly her attendance of the Easter service, are case-by-case, according to Hello! 

The queen isn't the only royal who won't be able to make it. While Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles were able to step in for Queen Elizabeth at the Maundy Thursday service, it seems as if they won't be able to repeat the favor. Sky News reports that they will also miss the church service on Easter morning. According to Express, the most senior royal family members following Prince Charles and Camilla are Prince William and Kate Middleton — so hopefully they'll be able to attend instead.

Queen Elizabeth may have decided to give the Easter Sunday service a miss in favor of another special day. She celebrates her 96th birthday on April 21 and usually celebrates it with the public in the summer with the Trooping the Colour event. The Telegraph reports that the monarch traditionally celebrates her actual birthday with a quiet family get-together. This year, however, children from the surrounding area will visit Windsor Castle where they will take part in a 21-gun salute at midday on her birthday. Selected kids will have the chance to fire a cannon. What fun!