Buckingham Palace yesterday announced the monarch, 96, would not attend the ceremonial occasion due to her health in what is the latest in a series of events she has pulled out of. Royal commentator Daniela Elser said the head of state missing the State Opening of Parliament “falls into its own deeply concerning category”.
Writing for news.com.au, Ms Elser said: “While this might just seem like another instance in the ever-growing list of big ticket events that Her Majesty has pulled out of over the last six months, including a two-day tour of Ireland, the Cop26 climate conference and appearing at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day, this parliament news falls into its own deeply concerning category.
“Feel free to use the word ‘unprecedented’ as much as you want here and consider the Rubicon thoroughly crossed.
“Opening parliament is the most fundamentally intrinsic part of what a monarch of Great Britain does. (Well, that and provide royal assent on laws and legislation.)
“If the Queen can no longer perform the most significant and symbolically important part of her job, how much longer can she feasibly hang on to the ruling gig?”
Ms Elser said the monarch has “always staunchly opposed abdication, seeing it as something akin to a cowardly and selfish renunciation of the duty” but added that it “leaves us, and the crown, in this strange no man’s land”.
She added: “How tenable is this arrangement in the longer term, really?”
The Queen reluctantly pulled out of the ceremonial occasion due to mobility issues.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Monday: “The Queen continues to experience episodic mobility problems, and in consultation with her doctors has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow.
READ MORE: Prince William ‘wary of Prince Harry’s return to UK’ for Jubilee
The Prince of Wales did not sit on the sovereign’s throne, which had been removed, but on the consort’s throne, which used to be occupied by his father Prince Philip and which he has used in recent years.
A space remained next to him, where the Queen’s missing throne is usually located, under the opulent canopy, with the monarch’s Imperial State Crown in front on a velvet cushion.
On either side of Charles were the Duke of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall in the Chairs of State.
Concern for the Queen’s health has been heightened since she spent a night in hospital last October before being ordered by doctors to rest.