For the first time in decades, Queen Elizabeth II missed the State Opening of Parliament. Although Prince Charles replaced her, people could not help but wonder where the Queen was.
Commonly held in spring or after a national election, the State Opening of Parliament is an event that represents the separation of power between the Crown, the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the judiciary.
Queen Elizabeth II had been the ceremony's crucial element for almost 60 years. However, she missed the 2022 event, with Prince Charles taking her place and giving her speech. So, what happened to Queen Elizabeth?
Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II on May 18, 2009 in London | Source: Getty Images
WHY WAS QUEEN ELIZABETH II ABSENT FROM THE OPENING OF PARLIAMENT?
On May 9, 2022, the day before the Opening of Parliament, Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen "reluctantly decided" not to attend the event.
The statement revealed that she kept dealing with "episodic mobility problems," and her doctors recommended she should rest instead.
Queen Elizabeth II on February 6, 2011 in King's Lynn, England | Source: Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth and the ceremony's authorities agreed that Prince Charles would replace her, with Prince William and Duchess Camilla also in attendance.
It is not the first time Queen Elizabeth has missed a Royal event for health-related issues. In October 2021, she was hospitalized for "preliminary investigations" and couldn't attend some of her already-scheduled gatherings.
In February 2022, the Queen tested positive for coronavirus and needed rest time. Apart from that, she has been spotted several times using a walking stick – including the one that belonged to her late husband, Prince Philip.
WHAT WAS PRINCE CHARLES ROLE IN THE OPENING OF PARLIAMENT?
Queen Elizabeth's absence was a shame, but Prince Charles successfully fulfilled his mother's duty. As the future King of England, he delivered the Queen's Speech – often regarded as a British monarch's most important constitutional duty.
However, Charles did not deliver the speech from the Sovereign's Throne, the seat Queen Elizabeth sat in previous events. Instead, he did it from the Consort's Throne, previously used by Prince Philip.
Queen Elizabeth already planned [her Platinum Jubilee].
Apart from that, Charles did not say, "My government," the phrase the Queen typically uses during her speech. Instead, he read, "Her Majesty's government."
To symbolize the Queen's authority at the Opening of Parliament, they placed the Imperial State Crown on a small table between Charles and William.
WHEN WILL THE QUEEN'S PLATINUM JUBILEE TAKE PLACE?
After missing so many Royal events, people are worried Queen Elizabeth would not be available to commemorate her Platinum Jubilee (the celebration of her 70-year reign).
The milestone is important because the Queen became the first monarch in British history to hold her position for seven decades. Although her accession day was on February 6, 1952, the Jubilee celebrations are traditionally held in June for her birthday.
Queen Elizabeth has already planned the celebration. It will kick off on June 2 with a Trooping of the Colour ceremony and other military ceremonies. She will attend a thanksgiving service at St. Paul's Cathedral the following day.
The Epsom Derby and the Platinum Party at the Palace Concert will take place on June 5. Although the concert's details are still under wraps, over 22,000 people will attend.
June 5 will be the last day of celebration with the traditional Big Jubilee Lunch and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant. For the latter, Ed Sheeran was announced as a performer. What a long reign!