Queen Elizabeth II pulls out of attending Commonwealth Service

The Queen Elizabeth II will not attend next week’s Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace has said.

This is usually a significant occasion for the Queen and earlier in the week it had been hoped she would attend.

The decision is understood to be about concerns over her discomfort with travelling, rather than illness.

The message from Buckingham Palace does not mention the health of the 95-year-old Queen, but says not attending the Commonwealth Service on Monday was decided “after discussing arrangements with the Royal Household”.

It is understood not to be related to an illness but there have been concerns about the Queen’s ability to travel and her mobility.

As she told defence staff in a meeting last month: “As you can see, I can’t move.”

The Queen, who recently recovered from Covid, is said to regret not being able to attend the event celebrating the Commonwealth, in what would have been one of her biggest public appearances of the year so far.

She has been carrying out diplomatic engagements at Windsor Castle, such as meeting the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and is expected to continue with such in-person audiences next week.

The Commonwealth Service was one of two major events in the Queen’s diary this month – the other being the service of thanksgiving for her husband, Prince Philip.

At the annual service marking Commonwealth Day, the Queen will be represented by Prince Charles and other senior royals will be there, including Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.