Britain’s Queen Elizabeth cancelled an engagement on Monday due an illness that followed her recent hospitalization. Despite the cancelled engagement, officials said the queen’s health is not a serious concern.
Elizabeth was discharged from the hospital last week and is otherwise in good health. A Buckingham Palace spokesman announced the queen’s decision, saying: “The queen will regrettably no longer attend the Commonwealth observance at Westminster Abbey today as she continues to recover following her recent illness.”
The spokesman added that she will still attend a reception on Monday night. She will also attend some of her other official engagements throughout the week. Last week’s hospitalization was the first in 10 years for the Queen of England, who is known for her extremely busy schedule.
But the 86-year-old Queen was forced to cancel a planned visit to Italy after she was put in the hospital for a stomach bug. Elizabeth stayed in the hospital for three days until she was released. She has cut back on her foreign visits in recent years, though she still maintains a busy schedule at home.
But in cancelling the engagement, Queen Elizabeth will not leave an empty spot at Westminster Abbey. Instead, her husband, Prince Phillip, will attend the service in place of his wife of 65 years. Officials have assured that, despite the queen’s age, her current health problems are not serious.
Queen Elizabeth’s popularity has remained high throughout her reign. It has been boosted in the last two years both by the marriage of her grandson Prince William to Kate Middleton, as well as the celebration to mark her 60th year on the throne of England.
Prince William and Kate Middleton are now known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Kate cannot take the title of Princess because she is not of royal lineage. However, the couple’s child will be crowned a prince or princess upon his or her arrival in July.
While the Queen was forced to cancel her engagement at Westminster Abbey on Monday, she still plans to sign a measure that take a stand against discrimination. Some have taken the impending signature to be a support of gay rights. The signing is expected to take place later on Monday.