LONDON – Queen Elizabeth II twisted her back, Buckingham Palace said on Sunday, forcing her to miss a memorial service she planned to attend after canceling several trips and other engagements due to ill health.
The palace said the queen’s injury, which it announced less than two hours before she was scheduled to appear at the ceremony, was not related to earlier medical advice that she be resting for at least two weeks.
It will deepen concerns about the health of the 95-year-old queen, who has now been invisible since mid-October, skipping trips to Northern Ireland and the United Nations for a climate conference in Glasgow.
The palace did not offer further details about the back injury, although an official said the queen hopes to continue to perform “official light duties” in the coming week. She limited public appearances on the advice of doctors after what palace officials described as exhaustion, after a hectic fall of events.
“Her Majesty is disappointed that she will miss the service,” the palace said in a statement on Sunday. “As in previous years, a wreath will be laid on behalf of Her Majesty by the Prince of Wales.”
The national memorial service, which honors Britain’s war dead, is one of the most solemn events on her calendar. It also has a deep personal significance for the Queen, who served as an assistant truck mechanic during World War II, as a young princess, and often speaks of the war as a unifying experience for British society.
The Queen’s involvement in the ceremony would have been limited to standing on a balcony overlooking the Tomb, a monument in Whitehall that honors fallen soldiers. She had already stopped attending a festival the night before at Royal Albert Hall, which pays tribute to those who died in war.