Queen Elizabeth II to miss Privy Council on doctor's orders to rest

Meeting will be rearranged, Buckingham Palace spokesman says

Queen Elizabeth II welcomes UK Prime Minister Liz Truss during an audience at Balmoral in Scotland. EPA
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Doctors have advised the UK's Queen Elizabeth II to rest, leading her to postpone her Privy Council meeting, Buckingham Palace has said.

Fresh fears have been raised for the 96-year-old monarch’s health following this latest setback, which comes a day after she was held a historic audience with Liz Truss, as the monarch appointed her the new prime minister.

“After a full day yesterday, Her Majesty has this afternoon accepted doctors’ advice to rest,” said a palace spokesman.

“This means that the Privy Council meeting that had been due to take place this evening will be rearranged.”

The queen remains at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire and the latest advice does not involve a hospital stay.

The nation’s longest-reigning monarch has mobility issues and had been due to hold the Privy Council via videoconference on Wednesday.

During the proceedings, Ms Truss would have taken her oath as First Lord of the Treasury and new Cabinet ministers would have been sworn into their roles, and also made privy counsellors if not already appointed in past.

There is no constitutional issue with the delay to the proceedings, the palace said.

Queen Elizabeth II meeting new prime ministers — in pictures

The smiling head of state looked bright but frail and used a walking stick during Tuesday’s audience, which followed a visit from departing prime minister Boris Johnson as he tendered his resignation.

It was the first time in her 70-year reign that the queen has appointed a prime minister at Balmoral.

The two politicians made the round trip from London, rather than making the monarch travel back from Scotland.

The queen is on her summer break on the Balmoral estate and not due to return until early October.

With her hair neatly curled, the monarch, dressed in a blouse, cardigan and a Balmoral tartan skirt, stood as she met Ms Truss.

Mr Johnson arrived at 11.16am and left 39 minutes later at 11.55am, while Ms Truss arrived at 12.22pm and departed 33 minutes later at 12.55pm.

The monarch also had another duty afterwards recorded in the Court Circular.

She invested Communications Secretary Donal McCabe with the insignia of a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order, an honour in the monarch’s personal gift for service to the royal family.

A number of guests were also seen leaving the castle before the first audiences began.

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The queen often has family members and friends to stay during her annual holiday.

The Sun reported recently that the Prince of Wales had been making regular morning visits to see his mother as she continues to struggle with mobility, though the unplanned visits are considered highly unusual.

She missed the Braemar Gathering highland games last weekend, which she usually attends each year.

Buckingham Palace has declined to give commentary on the monarch’s health.

During her platinum jubilee celebrations, the queen only travelled to Buckingham Palace twice, first for her Trooping the Colour balcony appearance and then for a finale after the pageant.

She spends most of her time at Windsor Castle, living there during the pandemic and while major renovations take place at Buckingham Palace, and for her comfort.

Queen Elizabeth secretly spent a night in hospital in October undergoing tests and was then under doctors’ orders to rest for the next three months, missing the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph service and the Cop26 climate change talks.

The queen caught Covid-19 in February and suffered from mild, cold-like symptoms but said the virus left her “very tired and exhausted”.

Updated: September 08, 2022, 4:51 AM