Platinum Jubilee: Is the Queen ill in 2022? What are 'episodic mobility issues' and where is the Queen today?

This comes after the Queen made several appearances on public on Thursday June 2nd.

After her positive Covid test in February and spells of illness causing her to pull back from public events over the last several months, including the Queen’s speech at Parliament, it was announced on Friday that the head of state would miss a National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on Friday after experiencing “discomfort” during Thursday’s events.

The Queen symbolically led the lighting of the principal Platinum Jubilee beacon in a spectacular end to the first day of historic national commemorations celebrating her 70-year-reign. The monarch’s late-night appearance at Windsor Castle rounded off the start to joyful festivities which saw the Queen take to the Buckingham Palace balcony surrounded by her family.

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It is understood the Queen missed Friday’s thanksgiving service after she experienced episodic mobility issues during Thursday’s celebrations.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said the Queen “greatly enjoyed” her birthday parade and flypast in London but “did experience some discomfort”. The statement reads: “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.”

Nonetheless, the Queen did appear at various events throughout the weekend of the Jubilee, including a three-minute appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to close the celebrations. When thanking the country for all the events and well wishes, the Queen said she remained “committed to serving you to the best of my ability, supported by my family”, saying “my heart has been with you all” when she missed parts of the celebration. Here’s what you need to know about the Queen’s health and what it means for her role in the public eye.

Is the Queen ill?

“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,” said the Palace said in a statement.

“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.”

Queen Elizabeth II attends an audience with the President of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis at Windsor Castle on April 28th 2022 in Windsor. Photo: Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images.

Despite these reports and past illnesses causing her to pull back from public roles slightly, the Queen is in relatively good health considering her age of 96 years old.

The Palace has not publicised many ongoing issues aside from the ones causing Her Majesty to cancel or delegate appointments. However, with the upcoming Platinum Jubilee celebrations, it is unlikely that any word of health issues to do with the monarch would be made public unless necessary.

Her Majesty has begun to use a cane during public engagements since around October 2021, suggesting that she may indeed have some ongoing mobility issues, as noted by the Palace.

Queen Elizabeth II sits with Prince Charles on the Sovereign's throne to deliver the Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament in 2021. Photo: Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP via Getty Images.

What are ‘episodic mobility issues’?

As to what ‘episodic mobility issues’ actually are, this usually refers to infirmity or unsteadiness when walking, perhaps accompanied by weakness or joint pain in key areas.

It seems that these issues are in line with what can be expected from a person of 96 years old after a long and active life.

Additional reporting by PA.

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