Queen pulls out of Commonwealth Games: Prince Charles is expected to replace monarch next month


The Queen will miss this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, with Prince Charles being lined up to represent her.

Senior figures around the sporting competition have told the Daily Mail that due to her increasing frailty the 96-year-old monarch, who is also Head of the Commonwealth, is not expected to attend.

The Prince of Wales is set to stand in for his mother at the opening ceremony next month, with an extensive turnout from other members of the Royal Family given that the competition is on home ground.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are likely to attend on several days, possibly along with their children.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex and Princess Anne will also be high-profile attendees. The Queen is patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation and has missed only a handful of events over the last seven decades, while Prince Edward is vice patron. 

Her Majesty did launch the Commonwealth Games baton relay at Buckingham Palace in October, placing a secret message inside it that won’t be read out until the Games are underway.   

But in recent months she has had to cancel a string of engagements due to what Buckingham Palace describes as ‘episodic mobility problems’.

The Queen will miss this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, with Prince Charles being lined up to represent her

The Queen and the Earl of Wessex with Dame Louise Martin, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, at the launch of the Queen's Baton Relay for Birmingham 2022 in October 2021

The Queen and the Earl of Wessex with Dame Louise Martin, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, at the launch of the Queen’s Baton Relay for Birmingham 2022 in October 2021

Queen Elizabeth II arrives to symbolically lead the lighting of the principal Jubilee beacon at Windsor Castle on Thursday June 2

Queen Elizabeth II arrives to symbolically lead the lighting of the principal Jubilee beacon at Windsor Castle on Thursday June 2

Her Majesty gets the ribbon entangled in the hair of Debbie Brill of Canada, as she presents her with the gold medal for the High Jump at Meadowbank Stadium, during the British Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in 1970

Her Majesty gets the ribbon entangled in the hair of Debbie Brill of Canada, as she presents her with the gold medal for the High Jump at Meadowbank Stadium, during the British Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in 1970

The Queen stands beside her son Prince Charles as she waves at adoring crowds on The Mall, June 5, 2022

The Queen stands beside her son Prince Charles as she waves at adoring crowds on The Mall, June 5, 2022

The Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George watch from the balcony of Buckingham Place after the Trooping the Color ceremony in London on June 2

The Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George watch from the balcony of Buckingham Place after the Trooping the Color ceremony in London on June 2

When the 22nd Games launch on July 28 the Queen will be in Scotland on her summer break, meaning she would have to travel to Birmingham from the Highlands. It is likely this would be considered too taxing for her at the moment.

Charles, 73, will also attend the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting in Rwanda this month on behalf of his mother.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment. Sources said the engagement was ‘still in the Queen’s diary’, adding: ‘Decisions on events are taken closer to the time.’

The Alexander Stadium ceremony is expected to be watched by 1billion people worldwide.

The Queen was said to have been ‘determined’ to overcome her painful mobility issues as she returned to Buckingham Palace to personally thank the thousands of well-wishers in the crowd who had turned out to express their own gratitude during her Jubilee. 

She was flanked by her three heirs – son, Prince Charles, grandson, Prince William, and great-grandson, Prince George – offering a glimpse into the monarchy’s future.

Sunday’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant was an afternoon of entertainment for members of the royal family, who all sat together alongside their siblings and cousins.

The parade told the story of her life, and the nation, with an eccentric, fun and imaginative carnival-like display.

The 96-year-old monarch was absent for much of the extended Bank Holiday weekend, after finding the first day enjoyable but tiring, and in a message of thanks acknowledged this but said her ‘heart’ had been with well-wishers.

Queen Elizabeth II waves to the crowd during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant from the balcony at Buckingham Palace in London

Queen Elizabeth II waves to the crowd during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant from the balcony at Buckingham Palace in London

People set up the tables for the Big Jubilee Lunch on The Long Walk in Windsor on June 5, 2022

People set up the tables for the Big Jubilee Lunch on The Long Walk in Windsor on June 5, 2022

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince George of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Louis of Cambridge on the balcony during the Platinum Pageant

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince George of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Louis of Cambridge on the balcony during the Platinum Pageant

Surrounded by her family, including Prince Charles, Camilla, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, George, Charlotte and Louis, she was cheered by thousands of well-wishers after stepping on to the balcony following the Platinum Pageant, which told the story of her life, and the nation, with an eccentric, fun and imaginative carnival-like display.

Smiling as she acknowledged the spectators, she looked down on The Mall where tens of thousands had waited in hope of seeing her.

The Queen said later in her message: ‘When it comes to how to mark seventy years as your Queen, there is no guidebook to follow. It really is a first. But I have been humbled and deeply touched that so many people have taken to the streets to celebrate my Platinum Jubilee.

‘While I may not have attended every event in person, my heart has been with you all; and I remain committed to serving you to the best of my ability, supported by my family.

‘I have been inspired by the kindness, joy and kinship that has been so evident in recent days, and I hope this renewed sense of togetherness will be felt for many years to come.

‘I thank you most sincerely for your good wishes and for the part you have all played in these happy celebrations.’

This was not her only surprises with her Paddington appearance seen as a much welcome appearance by the Queen.

A palace aide told the Sun: ‘As you saw she likes to spring a few surprises.’

After the outpouring of public affection during her balcony appearance, the Queen said she was ‘humbled and deeply touched’ so many people had taken part in marking her 70-year reign.

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