Britain’s Queen misses Platinum Jubilee Thanksgiving Service after ‘discomfort’

Britain’s Queen misses Platinum Jubilee Thanksgiving Service after ‘discomfort’
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London, June 3: After a hectic schedule of events that kick-started her Platinum Jubilee celebrations with a grand Birthday Parade, Queen Elizabeth II chose not to attend a special Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on Friday.

Buckingham Palace said the 96-year-old monarch had experienced some discomfort on Thursday, which marked two balcony appearances with royal family members and ceremonial lighting of beacons.

The Queen greatly enjoyed Thursday’s Birthday Parade and flypast, but did experience some discomfort, a palace spokesperson said.

Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in the national Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty with great reluctance has concluded that she will not attend, the spokesperson said.

The Queen has previously spoken of mobility problems and the palace confirmed ahead of the Jubilee the monarch would consider the events she felt able to attend during the four-day celebration.

Her son and heir, Prince Charles, and his wife Camilla joined Princes William and Harry and their spouses Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle at the service, which brought together 400 people such as frontline workers, charity volunteers and armed forces members in recognition of their contribution to public life.

The service marks the first time Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are joining other senior royals for a major event since they stepped back from frontline royalty to relocate to the US with their children Archie and Lilibet named after the monarch.

The Queen’s younger son, Prince Andrew a controversial figure over allegations in his private life dating back many years was due to attend the service but withdrew after testing positive for COVID-19.

The Archbishop of York delivered the sermon at the service after the Archbishop of Canterbury was also forced to pull out with coronavirus.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson read from the Bible as he was joined by senior members of the Cabinet as guests.

Opposition Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, former prime ministers and first ministers of the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were also among those in attendance.

The Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral offered “thanks and praise for the reign of Her Majesty the Queen and especially for her 70 years of faithful and dedicated service” and the largest church bell in the UK, the 16-tonne Great Paul, rang out continuously for four hours ahead of the service.

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