By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
LONDON (Worthy News) – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II will not attend Friday’s Jubilee service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London after experiencing “discomfort” at a Buckingham Palace parade in her honor, the palace said.
However, she did take part in a beacon lighting ceremony on Thursday evening as part of four days of celebrations marking the queen’s 70-year reign that began earlier.
The latest scare added concerns about the health of the 96-year-old monarch, who still grieves her husband’s death last year. “The queen greatly enjoyed today’s birthday parade and flypast but did experience some discomfort,” Buckingham Palace added in a statement.
“Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, her majesty, with great reluctance, has concluded that she will not attend,” the palace explained. Her son Prince Andrew will also be absent after testing positive for the coronavirus COVID-19, officials said.
Andrew, the queen’s second son, was forced to quit royal duties over his friendship with late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. He and settled a U.S. lawsuit in February in which he had been accused of sexually abusing a woman when she was underage. Andrew, 62, officially known as the Duke of York, denied any wrongdoing.
Despite her health issues, Thursday evening’s beacon lighting event saw the queen symbolically touch a globe to begin the ceremony at Windsor Castle.
It is not the first time in recent weeks that Queen Elizabeth missed engagements citing health problems. In May, she skipped the State Opening of Parliament because of “episodic mobility problems.” And in February, she caught COVID-19, which she said left her feeling “very tired and exhausted.”
Elizabeth’s health problems have added to a debate on when her oldest son and heir, Prince Charles, will become king. The aging sovereign has already given Prince Charles an increasingly prominent role, delegating more responsibilities to him.
That became obvious last month when Charles, 73, accompanied by his wife, Camilla, presided over the State Opening of Parliament, one of the monarch’s most important duties. It showed a carefully planned transition towards an eventual post-Elizabeth era.
Elizabeth, who became queen at 25, is Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and the first to reach the milestone of seven decades on the throne.
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