It was a poignant line that hit hard. “None of us can slow the passage of time,” wrote the Queen in a speech she was meant to deliver last week, but had to pull out of due to health issues.
In the address to the Church of England’s national assembly, delivered by her son Prince Edward in her absence, she was referring to the fact it’s been over 50 years since she attended the first meeting of the General Synod.
But her words had a powerful double meaning, given that of late, the 95-year-old monarch’s age seems to be catching up with her. Last month, there were concerns when she spent a night in hospital having tests for an undisclosed illness, and her doctors then ordered her to rest at home for two weeks. She had to cancel all her engagements, including a visit to Northern Ireland.
It appeared she was on the road to recovery last week with the news that she was due to attend the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in London. However, she pulled out at the last minute thanks to suffering a back strain.
The Queen hates to miss the moving service, which is held to commemorate those who’ve served the UK and Commonwealth in conflict, as she regards it as one of her most significant engagements. She’s only been absent on six occasions, either when she was pregnant or away on tour. The last time she was not present was 22 years ago.
Buckingham Palace released a statement saying, “The Queen, having sprained her back, has decided this morning with great regret that she will not be able to attend today’s Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph. Her Majesty is disappointed she will miss the service.”
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