The Queen will miss a national service of thanksgiving on Friday “with great reluctance” after experiencing “some discomfort” during Thursday’s platinum jubilee celebrations, Buckingham Palace has said.
She will stay away from the event at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, as will her son Prince Andrew, who has contracted Covid-19.
On Thursday, the 96-year-old monarch waved and smiled at crowds from the palace balcony, appearing relaxed as she watched the four-day jubilee events begin.
She was seen chatting to family members but holding a walking stick.
In a statement, Buckingham Palace said the Queen “greatly enjoyed” her birthday parade and flypast in London but “did experience some discomfort”.
The statement said: “Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty, with great reluctance, has concluded that she will not attend.
“The Queen is looking forward to participating in tonight’s beacon lighting event at Windsor Castle, and would like to thank all those who made today such a memorable occasion.”
It is believed she experienced episodic mobility issues during the daytime events.
It is understood the decision was considered regrettable but sensible due to the length of the journey and time involved and the physical demands the service would require.
Most of the Queen’s public appearances so far this year have been online, because of what are described as mobility issues, but she appeared at the Chelsea Flower Show in person this week, in an electric buggy.
Prince Andrew will also stay away from Friday’s service at St Paul’s Cathedral after he tested positive for Covid, Buckingham Palace said earlier.
The prince had been due to make an appearance at the service, which would have been the largest gathering of the royal family since the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2018.
It was also due to be the only official platinum jubilee event Prince Andrew would attend.
It is understood he saw the Queen in the past few days but has been undertaking regular testing and has not seen her since he tested positive.
He stepped down from royal duties in November 2019 following allegations surrounding his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. He did not appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Thursday’s jubilee events.