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Queen Elizabeth sprains her back and misses Remembrance Sunday service

The Queen is forced to miss the Remembrance Sunday service in London, pulling out just hours before what was set to be her first public appearance in weeks.

Queen Elizabeth II has missed the Remembrance Sunday service in London after spraining her back.

Key points:
  • The Queen is said to be "disappointed" to have missed the annual event
  • Britain's PA Media says the back sprain is unrelated to her recent absence from duties
  • A wreath at the service was laid on the Queen's behalf by Prince Charles

Buckingham Palace announced her absence a couple of hours before the service.

The appearance at the Cenotaph would have been her first public appearance in weeks, and last week the palace had said it was her "firm intention" to attend.

"The Queen, having sprained her back, has decided this morning with great regret that she will not be able to attend today's Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph," officials said in a statement.

"Her Majesty is disappointed that she will miss the service." 

The Queen spent a night in a London hospital last month after being admitted for tests.

On October 29, the palace said she had been told to rest for two weeks.

Why did the Queen go to hospital?
Queen Elizabeth in a blue hat.Queen Elizabeth in a blue hat.

A number of reports about the Queen's health recently suggest doctors are advising caution for the 95-year-old monarch.

Read more

She was forced to abandon plans to attend the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, on doctors' advice. She sent a video message instead.

But her back sprain is unrelated to her doctors' recent advice to rest, news agency PA Media reported.

The Queen has continued to work from home, doing desk-based duties, during her period of rest.

She has spent most of the time at Windsor Castle, west of London, and made a weekend visit to Sandringham, the royal family's eastern England estate.

Prince Charles looks down somberly in a memorial service wearing a military uniformPrince Charles looks down somberly in a memorial service wearing a military uniform
Prince Charles laid a wreath in the Queen's absence at the service.(AP: Aaron Chown)

On Sunday, other members of the royal family and politicians led the ceremony in London's Whitehall, with hundreds of military personnel and veterans lined up around the Cenotaph memorial.

It was the first time the event had returned to normal since the pandemic began.

After Royal Marine buglers sounded the Last Post, Prince Charles laid the first wreath on the Queen's behalf, as he had done in recent years.

He was followed by other royals and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Britain's longest-lived and longest-reigning monarch, Elizabeth is due to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee — 70 years on the throne — next year.

AP/ABC

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