Queen Elizabeth of England, at 96 years old and after having been sick with covid, has less and less strength. Today, for the first time since 1963, she will not go to Parliament to officially inaugurate the new legislature and read the government program. In her place, Carlos, the heir to the crown, will do so, a relief of enormous symbolic importance. The end of an era looms ever closer on the horizon.
The monarch suffers from mobility problems, walks with a cane and the virus has left its mark, how could it be otherwise at her advanced age. Lately, she has been absent from numerous public events, delegating to other members of the royal family, such as the commemoration of Victory Day in World War II and various events during Easter. She has only gone, in March, to her funeral for her husband the Duke of Edinburgh.
Rumors had been circulating in Westminster for days that the queen would not go to the Commons this year. In view of his recent (and growing) health problems, Buckingham Palace's policy is that he will confirm his presence at official events only on the same day, depending on how he is, and there will always be a member of the royal family on duty to assist him. replace it at the last minute if necessary.
The monarch has only been absent from the inauguration of the legislature twice during her seventy years of reign, and both times (in 1959 and 1963) due to being pregnant, being replaced by the Lord Chancellor. But this time it will be the Prince of Wales who takes her place, in anticipation of the coming change of powers. The so-called queen's speech (the enumeration of government bills) has become the heir's speech.
Despite her increasing ailments and weakness, Isabel is still active, and the Palace says that mentally she is in very good shape and her main problem is difficulty moving. Weekly hearings with Prime Minister Boris Johnson have long been held on Zoom, and on Monday he also spoke via video conference with Australian leader Scott Morrison. For the next few days, she has planned a series of private commitments that do not require travel or great effort. On the 21st she celebrated her 96th birthday privately at Sandringham.
The inauguration of the legislature last year had much less pomp than usual due to the rules of social distancing due to covid, and in 2020, in the midst of the outbreak of the pandemic, it was not celebrated. Lately the queen had given up wearing the imperial crown as is traditional, because it weighed her down and bothered her, and she had also given up the very rococo traditional clothing.
Elizabeth celebrated 70 years on the throne last February, and a series of events are planned for the coming months to celebrate the occasion and give new impetus to a monarchy damaged by the exile of Enrique and Meghan to California, and the accusations of sexual harassment against Prince Andrew, Duke of York. The question is how many of them the honoree and protagonist can participate in.
Today, in the heir's speech, Carlos will list some thirty Johnson Government bills, and his willingness to unilaterally break the aspects of the Brexit trade agreements that are not to his liking (related to the inspection of British products entering in Northern Ireland), if the European Union does not agree in the coming weeks to modify them substantially.
After the blow suffered in the municipal elections and the victory of Sinn Féin in Ulster, Johnson will put the emphasis on sending illegal immigrants to Rwanda and other measures that attract ultra-conservative voters and appease the Northern Irish unionists.