Queen pulls out of Remembrance Sunday events with sprained back

The Queen has pulled out of Remembrance Sunday commemorations after spraining her back.

The monarch, 95, has been under doctors’ orders to rest for almost a month after spending a night in hospital in October, but was due to attend a service at the Cenotaph in London on Sunday.

Buckingham Palace said there was a last-minute change of plans following her injury and that a wreath would be laid on her behalf by her son, Charles, the Prince of Wales.

In a statement the palace said: “The Queen, having sprained her back, has decided this morning with great regret that she will not be able to attend today’s Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph. Her Majesty is disappointed that she will miss the service.

“As in previous years, a wreath will be laid on Her Majesty’s behalf by The Prince of Wales. His Royal Highness, along with the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal and Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra will be present at the Cenotaph today as planned.”

The Remembrance service in Whitehall will return to normal this year, after the coronavirus pandemic limited the number of veterans and military and closed the ceremony to the public last year.

Hundreds of forces personnel will line up around the Cenotaph, and nearly 10,000 veterans will march past the war memorial, watched by large crowds.

Only on Saturday, Buckingham Palace insisted it was the Queen’s “firm intention” to attend the annual wreath-laying service in Whitehall.

The monarch, who lived through the second world war, is head of the armed forces and attaches great importance to the service and to commemorating the sacrifices made by servicemen and women.

She has missed several other events, including Saturday’s Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, after being ordered to rest by royal doctors just over three weeks ago. Other members of the royal family and the prime minister joined a crowd of thousands to pay tribute to all those who lost their lives in conflicts at the annual Festival of Remembrance, which took place on Saturday night.

Ceremonies will also take place at war memorials across the country, after being scaled back last year with the Royal British Legion advising the public to commemorate remotely by displaying a poppy in their window.