Queen pulls out of Remembrance Sunday after back sprain

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Prince Charles has laid a wreath on behalf of Queen Elizabeth at the Cenotaph in London on Sunday, after the 95-year-old was forced to pull out of the event at the last minute due to a back sprain.

It had been the monarch's “firm intention” to attend the annual National Service of Remembrance, after recently being advised to rest for two weeks by her doctors.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attends the annual National Service of Remembrance
Prince Charles attends the annual National Service of Remembrance in Whitehall. Photo: Getty

However, news of her absence was confirmed on the morning of the service.  

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "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."


Charles, 73, was joined at the war memorial by various members of the royal family, including Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Prince William was also in attendance, joining the march, while wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, took the Queen's place on the balcony to look on.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Sophie, Countess of Wessex
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and Sophie, Countess of Wessex attend the National Service Of Remembrance. Photo: Getty
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge salutes veterans
Prince William salutes veterans marching during the Remembrance Sunday ceremony in central London. Photo: Getty

The Queen has only missed six other Cenotaph ceremonies during her reign, but the palace has stressed she will be continuing light duties at Windsor.

Sunday's service was set to be the Queen's return to public duties, her first engagement since being taking some time to rest just over two weeks ago.

The commemorative event is one of the most significant dates in the Queen's calendar each year.

She underwent preliminary medical checks in hospital on October 20, since then she has been restricted to light, desk-based duties.

The Queen was determined to attend the event. Photo: Getty

Buckingham Palace explained in a statement at the time: "The doctors have advised that Her Majesty can continue to undertake light, desk-based duties during this time, including some virtual audiences, but not to undertake any official visits.

"Her Majesty regrets that this means she will be unable to attend the Festival of Remembrance on Saturday, November 13."

Just last week, her son The Prince of Wales had insisted the Queen is "alright" after being asked by her doctors to stick to "light duties".

Charles was greeted by crowds of people as he left a branch of the NatWest bank in Brixton following an engagement for the Prince's Trust on Thursday morning.

One man asked him, "Prince Charles, how is your mother?"

To which he responded, "She's alright, thank you."

It comes after the Queen pulled out of a meeting with world leaders at the Cop26 climate change gathering in Glasgow after being advised to rest. Instead, she recorded a video message for the summit.

It has also been reported that the Queen's diary will be 'carefully examined' and under 'constant review' into 2022, with royal sources saying they have been instructed to take a 'careful and cautious' approach when planning Her Majesty's commitments.

Additional reporting by Bang Showbiz.

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