Queen health fears as monarch may be forced to cut summer holiday short in diary shake-up

Queen ‘not well enough’ to attend event says Myers

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Her Majesty began her summer holidays in Scotland a fortnight ago but only officially took up residence at Balmoral Castle earlier this week. She normally remains north of the border until early October while attending a number of traditional engagements including watching events at the Braemar Gathering and throwing the Ghillies Ball.

However, the ongoing Tory leadership contest has thrown a spanner in the monarch’s carefully planned diary.

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are currently campaigning up and down the country to gain the favour of Conservative Party members, in charge to decide who will be the next Prime Minister.

The postal ballot is already underway and closes at 5pm on September 2.

The winner will be announced to the country on September 5.

At that point, the Queen will play a key role as head of state, as she will need to receive the outgoing Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to accept his resignation.

After bidding farewell to the former leader of the Tory Party, the monarch will then hold her first meeting with the new Conservative leader and ask them to form a new Government.

Buckingham Palace hasn’t yet disclosed whether the Queen will travel back to London for this key Constitutional engagement or if she will ask the politicians to meet her in Scotland.

The Daily Mail columnist Ephraim Hardcastle claimed the location of the important audiences will depend on the monarch’s health.

He wrote: “The Queen will meet her new Prime Minister at Balmoral only if her health is poor enough to warrant it, I am told.

“Courtiers prefer this outcome because of the negative publicity the alternative would bring.

“‘A return to London in early September could mark the early end of her summer break coming just after the only fixed point in her Scottish summer, the Braemar Gathering on September 3 – the first after a pandemic hiatus’.”

As noted by the source, the Braemar Gathering – a much beloved event regularly attended by senior members of the Royal Family – last took place in 2019, before the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this week, royal commentator Rebecca English also spoke about the possible plans involving the Queen and the new Prime Minister.

She wrote on Twitter: “The current plan is for [Her Majesty] to interrupt her stay for the Audience with the outgoing and incoming PMs, but that is [to be confirmed] nearer the time and clearly depends on the Queen’s health.”

The Queen has been experiencing episodic mobility issues for the past few months, during which she has at times been forced to pull out of events and be represented by Prince Charles, her son and heir.

Most notably, the Prince of Wales stepped in for his mother in May to deliver the Queen’s Speech during the State Opening of Parliament.

He attended the ceremony as one of the Queen’s counsellors of state and was accompanied by his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince William, his successor and second counsellor of state.

While the monarch hasn’t been in the public eye as much as she had been in the past, she continues to carry out her daily duties as head of state, including dealing with the Government’s red boxes.

The Queen sparked fresh health concerns on Tuesday, when she officially took up residence at Balmoral Castle.

This change of residence is normally marked with a public guard of honour held on the grounds of the castle.

However, the traditional welcome was carried out privately for the Queen’s “comfort”, according to a source.

They said: “This is a change in line with events being adapted for Her Majesty’s comfort”.

The Queen is expected to be joined by her close relatives soon, as she regularly invites her family members to spend time with her at Balmoral.

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