Queen pulls out of Easter Sunday service after mobility issues

The monarch also pulled out of the Maundy Thursday service at St George's Chapel in Windsor today

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The Queen has pulled out of the Easter Sunday service, a staple event in the royal calendar held at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, it is understood.

It comes after the monarch, who has been experiencing mobility issues, decided not to attend today's Maundy Thursday service also held at St George's Chapel.

Buckingham Palace announced on Friday that Prince Charles would represent her at the Maundy event and fulfil the ancient duty of distributing Maundy money to community stalwarts.

The 95-year-old monarch reached her Platinum Jubilee in February and overcame a bout of Covid after testing positive that month.

The Queen in her carriage as she heads to Ascot in 2019
The Queen in her carriage as she heads to Ascot in 2019

After spending a night in hospital last October she spent the following three months under doctors’ orders to only conduct light duties and missed a number of prominent events.

She recently attended the service commemorating the life of the Duke of Edinburgh and has been carrying out virtual events and her other duties as head of state.

On four occasions a member of the royal family has stood in for the Queen at the Royal Maundy service.

Just a few years into her reign the Lord High Almoner, Michael Gresford Jones the Bishop of St Albans, represented the Queen in 1954, when she was on her extensive Commonwealth tour.

Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, who will represent the Queen at the Royal Maundy service
Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, who will represent the Queen at the Royal Maundy service

Six years later the Queen Mother stood in for her daughter who had given birth to the Duke of York in February 1960, almost two months before the service, and in 1964 the birth of the Earl of Wessex in March that year meant the Queen’s role was fulfilled by her aunt Princess Mary.

In 1970 the Queen Mother distributed the Maundy money on behalf of the Queen who was on tour in New Zealand.

Charles and Camilla will join the congregation for the Royal Maundy service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and will be welcomed by the Right Reverend David Conner who gave the address at Philip’s memorial service.

Following tradition they will be presented with nosegays – sweet smelling bouquets – which in centuries past were used to ward off unpleasant smells during the ceremony.

For the past two years the service has not been held due to the pandemic and instead the Queen wrote to recipients of Maundy money, who received the coins in the post, to thank them for their community work which earned them their nominations.