Queen Elizabeth II was too ill to attend this year’s traditional church service at Sandringham. According to Buckingham Palace, the Queen has been suffering from a heavy cold and was urged to stay indoors until the illness passes.
“The Queen continues to recover from a heavy cold and will stay indoors to assist with her recovery.”
Although Queen Elizabeth II stayed home for the service, other members of the royal family stuck with tradition and attended the service in Sandringham. Prince Edward, Lady Louise Windsor, the Countess of Wessex, Prince Philip, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, each braved the cold morning air to arrive at St. Mary Magdalene in Sandringham.
According to The Guardian, Queen Elizabeth has attended the traditional service at St. Mary Magdalene every year since 1988, missing only this year.
Despite her absence from the church service, Buckingham Palace provided reassurance that the Queen will participate in the family Christmas celebrations.
“Her Majesty will participate in the royal family Christmas celebrations during the day.”
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were forced to forgo plans on Thursday when the Queen became ill and was flown back to her Sandringham estate by helicopter. The full details of her illness have not been released.
At 90-years-old, Queen Elizabeth has participated in a multitude of public events and did not take the decision to miss the traditional ceremony at St. Mary Magdalene lightly. Rather than spend the day in bed resting, she is adamant to share the holiday with family later in the day. Her traditional Christmas day speech is at 3 p.m. on television, giving the country a glimpse at her personal views of the state of the nation.
The Queen’s Christmas day speech is expected to be dedicated to “ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” according to Metro.
During her reflection on the past 12 months, the Queen will place a focus on individuals that do work for others and those that provide inspiration as they work.
“I often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things: volunteers, carers, community organisers and good neighbours; unsung heroes whose quiet dedication makes them special. They are an inspiration to those who know them.”
The speech was recorded earlier this month, when she was feeling healthier. Previous plans had the Queen and Prince Philip traveling to Sandringham today, which is why the speech was prerecorded.
The annual Christmas lunch was held on Tuesday at Buckingham Palace, hosted by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
Prince Philip was also suffering from a heavy cold. However, he was well enough today to attend St. Mary Magdalene in Sandringham.
Due to the Queen’s age, staying home was more likely a precautionary attempt to preserve her health rather than risk becoming more ill. However, some speculate that she may be making fewer public appearances now as she prepares to transition her power onward.
An announcement was made on Tuesday, stating that Queen Elizabeth II will be stepping down from her position as patron of the 25 national organizations. The transition is expected to happen near the end of her 90th birthday. Her patronages are expected to be passed on to other family members during the process.
It is unknown how active the Queen will remain in all palace matters. However, it is not expected that she will quietly fade into the background and spend her time simply relaxing. The vibrant 90-year-old is likely to remain active and share her opinions from time to time.
Although it seems like many of this year’s celebratory events, such as the annual lunch and the televised speech, took place prior to today, they were not planned around the Queen’s illness. Instead, it was anticipated that many family members would not be in attendance this year as they started new traditions of their own.
What are your thoughts on the Queen’s illness, should it be cause of concern, or is she tough enough to fight it off?
[Featured Image by Yui Mok/PA Wire/Getty Images Pool]