Princess Anne and William hold fort for recovering Queen with packed day of engagements

Royal women likely to step up to support Queen says expert

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The Princess Royal and Duke of Cambridge conducted two Investiture ceremonies at Windsor Castle on Tuesday afternoon. Anne, 71 and William, 39, handed out awards to more than 120 people who had been recognised in the Queen’s honours’ list.

The royal event came 48 hours after the Queen dramatically pulled out of the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph.

Buckingham Palace released a statement just hours before the ceremony was due to start in Westminster and confirmed the 95-year-old would not attend due to a sprained back.

The palace added the decision was made by the Monarch “with great regret”.

The Queen watched the service on television from Windsor Castle, while the Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge and Princess Royal all laid a wreath.

The Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge and Countess of Wessex were also in attendance from the balcony of the Foreign Office.

The packed royal calendar has also meant the Queen missed out on giving an address at the Church of England’s national assembly.

On Tuesday, the head of state was due to appear in person at the Synod, but the engagement was cancelled last week.

Prince Edward deputised and read the Queen’s speech to bishops and clergy at Church House – the Westminster headquarters of the Church of England.

The Earl of Wessex said the Queen sends her “sincere and deep apologies that she cannot be here today”.

Her youngest son added: “I think you probably understand why, and she regrets that deeply.”

It is understood the Queen has not received hospital treatment for her back and the injury is unrelated to recent medical advice for her to rest.

She also missed Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday evening.

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Earlier this month she did not travel to Glasgow for the COP26 summit and in October the Queen withdrew from a scheduled trip to Northern Ireland.

The Prime Minister reassured the public over the Queen’s health during a press conference on Sunday.

Boris Johnson said he held his weekly meeting with the Queen and she was “very well”.

He said: “I know that everybody will be wanting to offer their best wishes to Her Majesty the Queen and I just wanted to reassure everybody by saying that I did see the Queen for an audience last week on Wednesday in Windsor and she’s very well.

“It shouldn’t need saying but I just wanted to say it anyway.”

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