The Queen will no longer attend a thanksgiving church service on Friday to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee, Buckingham Palace has announced.
The longest reigning monarch in British history, 96, experienced “some discomfort” during Thursday’s jubilee kickoff, the Palace said in a statement, per Reuters, leading her to make the last minute change.
Though the Queen was all smiles Thursday as she watched the Trooping the Colour parade and enjoyed an RAF fly-past from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, she was aided by the use of a walking cane and appeared to step “gingerly” onto the palace’s famous balcony, according to the AP.
“The Queen greatly enjoyed today’s Birthday Parade and Flypast but did experience some discomfort,” a Palace spokesperson said on Thursday. “Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s [service] Her Majesty with great reluctance has concluded that she will not attend.” The service is to be held at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
The announcement comes as the monarch has cut back public engagements in recent months due to “mobility issues.” A royal source told reporter Omid Scobie that the Queen experienced these same difficulties throughout the day on Thursday. Given “the journey, length of time involved and the physical demands” the Thanksgiving service presents, it was a “sensible decision,” the source said.
The Queen did, however, still take part in lighting a chain of ceremonial beacons at Windsor Castle late Thursday evening as originally planned.
The Jubilee festivities are slated to continue throughout the weekend and it was not immediately clear if the Queen’s health will prohibit her from attending other events as well.