Queen Elizabeth II missed a memorial service to commemorate Britain’s dead after a sprain of her back, Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Sunday.
The latest health setback for Britain’s longest-serving monarch meant she was forced to postpone what was her first public appearance. en more than three weeks after her brief hospital stay for an unspecified illness, not related to Covid-19.
The queen was “disappointed” to miss the service – one of her most important annual engagements – the statement said.
A wreath will still be laid at the Cenotaph, Britain’s national war memorial in Westminster, in her name by her son Prince Charles, the palace added.
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The queen served in World War II as a military driver and mechanic, and attaches great importance to Remembrance Sunday, a solemn ceremony to commemorate the sacrifices made by fallen soldiers and women. The national service is traditionally marked by the carrying of poppies and a two-minute silence observed on the 11th.
It is preceded by the Day of Remembrance or Armistice on November 11, which marks the end of World War I.
This is only the seventh time the queen has missed the Remembrance Day ceremony during her 69-year reign. Previous occasions she was pregnant or abroad during a tour, Buckingham Palace told NBC News.
Last month, a statement from Buckingham Palace said the queen had a “firm intention” to take part in the Memorial Service this year, despite having to miss other engagements ahead of the event.
The Queen was unable to attend the COP26 climate talks, held in Scotland over the past two weeks, when her doctors advised her to rest.
However, she continued to work from home, doing desk duties, during her period of rest. She spent most of the time at Windsor Castle, west of London, and made a weekend visit to Sandringham, the East England estate of the royal family.
The royal will celebrate her platinum jubilee next year, marking her 70th year on the throne. She will be the first British monarch to do so.
Related Press contributed.