Queen retirement 'out of the question' despite Charles having to step in for Commonwealth Day Service

Her Majesty is a "constant that the nation can be thankful for," says royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams

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The Queen’s retirement is “out of the question,” a royal commentator has told GB News amid reports the monarch’s diary is “under review”.

Concerns were particularly raised following the Queen’s announced absence from today’s Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey.

But Mr Fitzwilliams believes Her Majesty's absence has been misinterpreted and that “there is no question whatever of her retiring".

He said: “Next month the Queen turns 96. She has been in robust health for almost all of her life and has recovered from Covid. Last week she received the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Windsor and it was noticed that she was not using her walking stick.

“However, as her absence from today’s Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey underlines, she has mobility issues, is not as strong as she used to be and her diary is reportedly under review."

While her public engagements may be scaled back, Mr Fitzwilliams says she intends to attend the Service of Thanksgiving for Prince Philip at the end of the month as it is “obviously tremendously important for her".

Plans for her participation in the celebration of her Platinum Jubilee in June will be “carefully reviewed” closer to the time.

The Queen has increasingly conducted more virtual engagements, particularly following and during her Covid-19 diagnosis.

Mr Fitzwilliams said: “The Queen has proved herself a master of the virtual broadcast as an admiring nation witnessed last year and may use this medium more, as many have since the pandemic began.

“There is no question whatever of her retiring, indeed her sagacity at this time of crisis is tremendously valuable and a constant that the nation can be thankful for.”

At today’s Commonwealth Service, the Prince of Wales alongside the Duchess of Cornwall will represent Her Majesty and a recorded video message from the monarch will be played to the congregation.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson has said: “After discussing the arrangements with the royal household, the Queen has asked the Prince of Wales to represent Her Majesty at the Commonwealth service at Westminster Abbey on Monday.

“The Queen will continue with other planned engagements, including in-person audiences, in the week ahead.”