Queen health: Princess Anne helped Her Majesty as ‘unusual’ walking aid ‘struck a chord’

Queen cancels Northern Ireland trip due to medical advice

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Today, Her Majesty cancelled a trip to Northern Ireland and “reluctantly accepted medical advice to rest” over the next few days, according to a Buckingham Palace spokesman. The Palace added that the Queen is in “good spirits” but “disappointed” that the two-day trip cannot go ahead. The 95-year-old monarch has attended a number of events in recent days including a Global Investment Summit at Windsor Castle on Tuesday evening.

She also held audiences via video link with Japanese Ambassador Hajime Hayashi and EU Ambassador Joao de Almeida this morning and was at the races at Ascot over the weekend.

The Queen will remain in Windsor Castle and is still expected to attend the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow later this month. 

Last week, Her Majesty used a walking aid for the first time in 17 years as she attended a service at Westminster Abbey marking the Royal British Legion. 

The Queen, who attended the service with her daughter, Anne also used the Poet’s Yard entrance of the Abbey rather than the Great West Door, which involved a shorter walk to the monarch’s seat.

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Though both the change of entrance and the stick were thought to be merely tailored for the monarch’s comfort, a royal expert claimed the walking aid “struck a chord”.

Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Zoe Forsey and features Daily Mirror royal expert Russell Myers. 

Mr Myers said: “[It] obviously did prick a lot of people’s attention I suppose. 

“When I saw the pictures, she was being passed her stick by her daughter Princess Anne, it just struck a chord, and you think ‘gosh, it’s quite unusual to see the Queen with a stick’.

“And then we looked through the pictures and the last time she’d been seen with one was 17 years ago in 2004.

“She’d just had a knee operation I think it was.” 

The Queen was pictured with a walking aid a number of times in 2003 and 2004, aged 76 after having an operation on her right knee. 

The monarch tore cartilage in her knee while walking on uneven ground during a visit to Newmarket racecourse in Suffolk, just before Christmas 2002.

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Mr Myers added: “I suppose you think ‘gosh, we don’t normally see her [with a stick]’ but then you think she is 95 years old. 

“So when I spoke to someone at the Palace he said, ‘well listen, she wasn’t using it this week’, as in, she wasn’t using it when she’d previously been seen at Buckingham Palace. 

“But she is 95 years old, she’s just using it for comfort, if that’s something she wants to do in the future don’t be surprised if you see it. 

“And it is cobbled uneven walkway into Westminster Abbey, so I think people were having fears around whether she had a fall, or whether she was feeling a bit unsteady on her feet.

“I don’t think that’s the case at all.”

The royal expert said: “She’s very, very busy, it’s wonderful to see her out, however, she is 95.

“There’s no getting away from that, and if she wants to use a stick, then she’s going to use a stick.”

On Tuesday Britain’s longest-serving monarch “politely but firmly” turned down a magazine’s award of ‘Oldie of the Year’.

Author Gyles Brandreth, chairman of Oldie magazine’s awards, wrote to the Queen’s private secretary Sir Edward Young, to ask if she would accept the title.

The Queen’s assistant private secretary Tom Laing-Baker replied: “Her Majesty believes you are as old as you feel, as such the Queen does not believe she meets the relevant criteria to be able to accept, and hope you will find a more worthy recipient.”

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