Queen Elizabeth Hands Over Remembrance Day Duties to Prince Charles
In a move seen by many as a prelude to a full handover of duties, Prince Charles stood in for his mother Queen Elizabeth at London’s Remembrance Day ceremony.
Prince Charles laid a wreath at Whitehall’s Cenotaph in central London on behalf of 91-year-old Queen as she watched the service from a balcony.
Breaking with her usual custom of placing the wreath herself, the British Queen asked her eldest son to take on the role, in part because of the demands of the ceremony for someone in their 90's.
The British Queen has missed the wreath-laying ceremony just six times in her 65-year reign.
A two-minute silence was held at 11 am local time and wreaths were laid at the foot of Britain’s main war memorial by senior royals and political leaders including Prime Minister Theresa May and the leader of the main opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.
Royal historian Hugo Vickers said the Queen had slightly stumbled during last year’s service.
“One of the most important things with the Queen as she gets older is not to put her in any situation where she might be uncomfortable or things might be difficult,” he told the Reuters.
“It requires a certain amount of standing around and then it involves the queen carrying something quite heavy and walking backward.”
But he rejected the notion that it symbolized something more significant, saying it was “another step that we realize that we have an aging monarch, and it’s very important that we should not put too much pressure on her”.
The head of state has been gradually reducing her workload and younger royals, including the 68-year-old Charles, have been taking up some of her duties.
The British Queen Elizabeth's 96-year-old husband, Prince Philip, retired from public life in August but was keen to attend the annual ceremony, which commemorates the fallen of two World Wars and later conflicts.
The night before the ceremony, Kate Middleton shrugged off any morning sickness to join the Queen and Prince Philip, without her husband, at an annual musical Remembrance Day tribute at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Prince William was on official duty at an Australia vs. Wales's rugby match in Cardiff and was unable to attend the event, while Prince Harry was attending the England vs. Argentina rugby match.