Queen Elizabeth to miss Remembrance service due to back sprain

In this photo taken on Nov 8, 2020, Queen Elizabeth attends the National Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph on Whitehall in London. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain's Queen Elizabeth will miss the Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph in London on Sunday (Nov 14) after spraining her back, Buckingham Palace said.

It would have been her first in-person public engagement since she was advised to rest following a night in hospital last month.

"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," said a palace spokesman on Sunday. "Her Majesty is disappointed that she will miss the service."

Sky News reported that the back sprain is unrelated to the recent medical advice for her to rest.

In the Queen's absence, a wreath will be laid at the Cenotaph by Prince Charles.

He will be joined at the service by his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The world's oldest and longest-reigning monarch went to hospital for "preliminary investigations" into an unspecified ailment, and has missed events such as the COP26 climate conference and a festival to remember the nation's war dead on Saturday evening.

While the queen has been photographed greeting dignitaries online, the palace had said the 95-year-old had been determined to appear in person at the Cenotaph where members of the royal family join leading members of the government, military and veterans to commemorate those who lost their lives in conflict.

Held on the nearest Sunday to Nov 11 to recall the end of World War One, the sight of the queen at the annual event is one of the defining images of her 69-year reign: head bowed, wearing black and displaying a red poppy.

On Sunday plans were in place for her to watch the service from the balcony of the Foreign Office in central London while her son and heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles laid a wreath on her behalf.

Elizabeth is also queen of 15 other realms including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Prince Charles lays a wreath on behalf of Queen Elizabeth at The Cenotaph in Whitehall, London on Nov 14, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

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