Queen to miss royal garden parties including event at Edinburgh’s Palace of Holyroodhouse

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The head of state, who has mobility issues, has missed a number of major events this year but has been carrying out virtual engagements and her other duties.

Garden parties – including the monarch’s traditional Scottish gathering at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh – will be staged from next week for the first time in three years and are important events in the royal calendar as those who have served their country or communities are invited to the monarch’s home.

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Around 8,000 people are normally invited to the event in the grounds of Holyroodhouse where the Queen is under the watchful eye of the Royal Company of Archers and the High Constables of the Palace.

The Queen during a garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in 2019 (Jane Barlow/PA)

Buckingham Palace said: “Her Majesty The Queen will be represented by other members of the royal family at this year’s garden parties, with details on attendance to be confirmed in due course.”

The Queen, who is 96, attended a service commemorating the life of the Duke of Edinburgh in March with senior royals and a congregation of hundreds.

She reached her Platinum Jubilee in February, overcame a bout of Covid after testing positive that month, and celebrated her 96th birthday privately on April 21 at her Sandringham estate.

Last October, the Queen spent a night in hospital and spent the following three months under doctors’ orders to only conduct light duties and missed a number of prominent events.

The garden parties will be staged at Buckingham Palace on May 11, 18 and 25, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse will be the venue for a party on June 29. The Edinburgh event is a massive crowd-pleaser and attendees come from all walks of life and all ages, from politicians to charity volunteers.

It also prompts a massive security operation in the Capital with extra Police Scotland officers drafted in and painstaking searches of the Palace grounds and surrounding area conducted before and during the party.

The Queen has given permission for the annual garden party for charity forces The Not Forgotten Association, which supports disabled veterans and serving wounded, to take place at her official London home on May 12, hosted by the organization’s patron the Princess Royal.

There will be speculation about whether the Queen will attend the State Opening of Parliament next Tuesday which could see her represented by the Prince of Wales.

Charles is the likely candidate to read the Queen’s speech which sets out the Government’s policies and proposed legislation for the new parliamentary session.

Since 2016 the monarch has used the lift at Sovereign’s Entrance rather than the stairs when arriving and leaving the Palace of Westminster.

The Queen has opened Parliament all but two times during her reign.

The exceptions were in 1959, the year she was pregnant with the Duke of York, and 1963, when she was pregnant with the Earl of Wessex.

The ceremony was not held in 2020 and last year a reduced capacity Covid secure State Opening of Parliament was staged with the Queen present.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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