Queen Elizabeth II sprains back, will miss planned return to public appearances

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has canceled a plan to attend a Remembrance Sunday ceremony that was to mark her first public appearance since a hospital stay last month.

In a statement Sunday morning, Buckingham Palace disclosed that the 95-year-old monarch has sprained her back and will therefore be unable to attend a ceremony at London’s Cenotaph memorial to honor service members who sacrificed their lives for the United Kingdom.

“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,” the statement read. “Her Majesty is disappointed that she will miss the service.”

The ceremony is part of what’s known as Remembrance Sunday in Britain. This year’s event falls on the 73rd birthday of the queen’s son, Prince Charles, who traditionally lays a wreath in honor of deceased service members on Remembrance Sunday on behalf of his mother.

The service is one of the most important events on the monarch’s calendar and was meant to be her first public appearance after taking a few weeks off to rest under doctor’s orders.

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“She’s all right,” Prince Charles had said of the queen’s health Thursday, when asked about his mother during a London visit, Reuters reported.

But the queen is limiting her upcoming public schedule, having previously opted to skip Tuesday’s planned opening of the Church of England’s governing General Synod, according to The Associated Press.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is seen near Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is seen near Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021.
(Associated Press)

The queen underwent tests in a London hospital last month as part of “preliminary investigations” regarding an unspecified medical condition, the Reuters report said.

She was then was advised by doctors to rest at home for several weeks. Heeding the advice, the queen canceled plans to attend the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, but sent a video message that was played at the event. She also canceled a planned visit to Northern Ireland, according to Reuters.

But officials stressed at the time that “it remains the queen’s firm intention” to be present for the national Remembrance Sunday service. On Thursday, Buckingham Palace said the monarch planned to watch the ceremony at the Cenotaph war memorial in central London from a balcony, as she has for several years.

On Nov. 4, the queen flew by helicopter from Windsor Castle to Sandringham, a vacation home in Norfolk, about 100 miles north of London, with her doctor’s approval.

The queen met with President Biden and first lady Jill Biden at Windsor Castle in June, when the Bidens were in Britain for the G-7 Summit.

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This year’s Remembrance Sunday was to be the first for the queen without her husband, Prince Philip, who died in April at age 99. 

Both the prince and the queen served in Britain’s military during World War II. The monarchs first met in 1939, when Elizabeth was just 13 years old and Philip was an 18-year-old naval cadet. They maintained a friendship and then married in 1947.

This coming Saturday, Nov. 20, would have been the royal couple’s 74th wedding anniversary.

Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco and Evie Fordham and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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