The Queen withdraws from 2022 Commonwealth Service

The Queen will not be attending a Commonwealth service at Westminster Abbey on Monday, Buckingham Palace have announced.

The full statement reads as follows: “After discussing the arrangements with the Royal Household, The Queen has asked The Prince of Wales to represent Her Majesty at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on Monday.

“The Queen will continue with other planned engagements, including in-person Audiences, in the week ahead.

The Queen signs her annual Commonwealth Day Message in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle in 2021.

“As planned the service will be attended by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Princess Alexandra. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester will no longer attend, following The Duke’s positive test for COVID.

“The Queen’s Commonwealth Day message will be distributed in the usual way.”

According to Sky News, the decision to pull out of the event relates to ‘discussions that have been had about her comfort travelling to and attending the service’.

The Queen leads members of the Royal Family out of Westminster Abbey after the Commonwealth Day Service in March 2020, before the beginning of the pandemic in the UK

It has been reported that Her Majesty is making Windsor her primary residence and is not expecting to move back into Buckingham Palace. She likely will attend engagements there when necessary, but it seems that the court will focus its work at Windsor.

It would have been her first public engagement since contracting COVID-19 in last month. Buckingham Palace said the 95-year-old was experiencing mild cold-like symptoms, at the time and she postponed some engagements until she recovered.

This week, she held her first in-person engagement with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Windsor Castle.

The Commonwealth theme for 2022 is ‘Delivering a Common Future’. The theme highlights how the Commonwealth family are ‘innovating, connecting and transforming; to help achieve their goals of protecting natural resources and championing young people. It also reflects the deep-rooted networks of friendship and goodwill that connect the Commonwealth countries.

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