The palace reduces the Queen’s duties. “Mandatory events” such as the opening of parliament are removed from their calendar.
Buckingham Palace has reduced Queen Elizabeth II’s commitments, 96, as part of an annual review. Some dates have been canceled entirely.
A Palace source downplayed the importance of the changes as “a small update following the anniversary year,” Mail Online reports. It is the first time in at least a decade that the palace’s annual report has revised or changed the Queen’s duties. The renewed version of the Queen’s role and duties places an emphasis on supporting the broader royal family while minimizing the specific duties expected of the monarch.
She remains head of state and head of the nation
According to the Sovereign Grant Report, signed by Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, the Queen’s role continues to consist of two key elements: Head of State and Head of Nation. The Queen “must” carry out the duties assigned to her role as head of state within the framework of the “formal constitutional concept”.
According to the previous 13-point list, this included opening parliament, appointing the prime minister, and granting and receiving state visits. These specific duties have been replaced with a more vague wording, stating that the Queen’s role includes “a range of parliamentary and diplomatic duties” and that she only “receives” other heads of state.
As the head of the nation, the Queen will only carry out her duties “when it is appropriate or necessary,” the new version continues. The specific duties have been replaced with a more general role consisting of promoting “unity and national identity” and “continuity and stability”, recognizing the “achievement and success” of others, and “supporting service” from volunteers to to the emergency services and the military.
Prince Charles should take over
Of the six key events on the royal calendar previously listed, the opening of state, once considered a necessary constitutional convention, has been removed. Four of the other five were managed by the Prince of Wales that year.
It is expected that this will remain the case and that Prince Charles (73) will continue to take on more demanding official duties in her place.
In recent months, the Queen, who has just celebrated her platinum jubilee, has had to cancel a number of appointments due to mobility issues. In early May, she missed the opening of Parliament for the first time in 59 years.