STANDING TALL: The annual Remembrance Sunday ceremony in London, which normally sees members of the royal family crowd onto the balconies at Whitehall, near Downing Street, wasn’t the same this year as the most famous attendee, Queen Elizabeth, was missing.
The Queen pulled out of the event on Sunday morning due to a sprained back, according to Buckingham Palace, although she has been struggling with ill health for the past few weeks.
Last month, she was pictured walking with a cane while attending a service at Westminster Abbey service for the the Royal British Legion, an armed forces charity. Shortly after that, the 95-year-old monarch spent one night in the hospital undergoing tests, and had been advised by her doctors to rest at home, and stick to desk-bound duties.
As late as Thursday, the palace was confirming her attendance at Sunday’s event, which takes place at The Cenotaph, a war memorial on Whitehall. But it was not to be.
The palace said: “The Queen, having sprained her back, has decided this morning with great regret that she will not be able to attend today’s Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph. Her Majesty is disappointed that she will miss the service.”
The Queen has pulled out of a series of appearances, including at COP26, which wrapped this weekend in Glasgow, Scotland, and has also canceled a series of events in the next weeks.
Remembrance Sunday takes place in Britain on the second weekend in November, and sees the royal family, veterans and thousands of members of the public, honor the armed forces and civilians who died in World War I, World War II, and in conflicts during the 20th and 21st centuries.
The Queen has missed the Cenotaph service before due to overseas tours, and before the births of her two younger children, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
Last year’s Remembrance Day ceremony was a low-key — and socially distanced — affair due to COVID-19, with Queen Elizabeth seen wearing a mask for the first time in public, and only a handful of royals gathering at the Cenotaph war memorial.
The event took place during the second (of three) national lockdowns, and was closed to the public.