The Queen has made an unexpected appearance at the Royal Windsor Horse Show to watch her animals take to the parade ring.
The 96-year-old monarch appeared in good spirits on Friday, where she was seen smiling from a car window.
Her throne remained empty while Prince Charles delivered the speech in her place.
Her absence was the first time the Queen was not present at the annual event in nearly 60 years.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “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.
“At Her Majesty’s request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, the Prince of Wales will read the Queen’s Speech on Her Majesty’s behalf, with The Duke of Cambridge also in attendance.”
The Queen’s appearance at her Platinum Jubilee celebrations next month have also been called into question, with a Buckingham Palace spokesperson saying her presence may not be confirmed until “the day itself”.
Speaking ahead of the four-day bank holiday weekend next month, the spokesperson explained: “The Queen is looking forward to the weekend and will be taking part in the celebrations but her presence will not be confirmed until much nearer the time or even on the day itself.”
The 96-year-old monarch has been facing mobility issues since she was hospitalised in October last year, and has been undertaking mostly virtual engagements ever since.
Featuring more than 500 horses and 1,000 performers, the Royal Windsor Horse Show is the UK’s largest outdoor horse show with international competitions in three different equestrian events.
A favourite of the Queen, many of her great-grandchildren are expected to appear in carriages on Sunday evening at the “A Gallop Through History” event to mark the last day and the monarch’s Platinum Jubilee.