What are episodic mobility problems as Queen misses State Opening of Parliament

Tuesday 10 May marked the State Opening of Parliament and only the third time since her coronation that the Queen wasn’t in attendance.

Previously Her Majesty, 96, missed State Openings in 1959 when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew, and in 1963 when she was pregnant with Prince Edward.

This year, however, the Queen was represented by Prince Charles, with Prince William also in attendance.

On Monday 9 May, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “The Queen continues to experience episodic mobility problems, and in consultation with her doctors has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow.

"At Her Majesty’s request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, The Prince of Wales will read The Queen’s speech on Her Majesty’s behalf, with The Duke of Cambridge also in attendance."

At 96, the Queen is very much past the age of retirement in the UK so it comes as no surprise when health issues are cited as reasons for her not attending events.

The word ‘episodic’ means “symptom-free periods that alternate with the presence of symptoms”.

Thus the statement from Buckingham Palace means that the Queen occasionally struggles with mobility issues, but doesn't always have problems getting around.

Her Majesty made the decision not to attend a day before the State Opening took place, which could mean that up until that moment she had always intended to be present.

This comes after Buckingham Palace released a statement about the Queen not attending the annual Garden Parties which take place in the royal gardens.

It read: “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 has given permission for the Not Forgotten Association Annual Garden Party to be hosted by the Princess Royal, as the charity’s patron, in the Buckingham Palace Garden on Thursday, May 12."

In October 2021 the Queen was seen using a walking stick during a service at Westminster Abbey.

This was the first time since she had knee surgery in 2003 that she was publicly spotted with one.

In recent months the Queen has recovered from catching Coronavirus and has been pictured attending events virtually.

With the Queen's ongoing mobility issues in mind, as insider has said thatit's to be expected that the monarch will not be attending eventsunless the Palace says otherwise.

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