Queen Elizabeth II will miss the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday after experiencing “some discomfort” at her platinum jubilee celebrations, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday.
The monarch, 96, will miss the service on Friday “with great reluctance” but will still attend a beacon-lighting event at Windsor Castle on Thursday evening, the palace said.
It is believed the queen experienced episodic mobility issues during Thursday’s events.
The decision was regrettable but sensible due to the length of the journey and time involved, as well as the physical demands the service would require, the palace said.
“The queen greatly enjoyed today’s birthday parade and fly-past but did experience some discomfort,” a statement issued on Thursday evening said.
“Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s national service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, her majesty, with great reluctance, has concluded that she will not attend.
“The queen is looking forward to participating in tonight’s beacon-lighting event at Windsor Castle and would like to thank all those who made today such a memorable occasion.”
The monarch took centre stage at her historic celebrations on Thursday, greeting crowds from the Buckingham Palace balcony, surrounded by her family.
Huge cheers erupted from thousands of well-wishers packed on to The Mall in central London as the queen appeared to watch the fly-past after Trooping the Colour.
Wearing sunglasses, the sovereign looked joyful as she surveyed the patriotic scenes, smiling broadly as she watched the aircraft display.
It was the second of two appearances from the queen on the balcony on Thursday — the start of an extended jubilee weekend marking her 70-year-reign.
Earlier, she joined her cousin, the Duke of Kent, on the famous frontage to receive a salute from her soldiers returning from Trooping the Colour, after the Prince of Wales performed her duties on the parade ground.
Eighteen members of the royal family including the queen stepped out to watch the fly-past, with the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, flanking the monarch.
The queen leaned over to chat animatedly with her great-grandson Prince Louis, 4, who at one stage covered his ears and had his eyes tightly shut as the aircraft thundered overhead.
He was also spotted resting his chin on his hand and waving towards the sky.
The six-minute fly-past featuring more than 70 aircraft, including Apache helicopters, Typhoons and the Red Arrows, flew over the palace.
Fifteen RAF Typhoons paid a special tribute to the monarch’s record-breaking reign, flying in formation to create the number 70, prompting smiles from the queen.
Dressed in a dusky dove-blue Angela Kelly coat that she wore for her official jubilee portrait and a matching hat, the queen was holding a walking stick and wearing the Guards’ Badge on her coat.