The Queen was ‘adamant’ that Prince Charles delivered her speech at the State Opening of Parliament – as part of the ‘pin sharp’ monarch’s ‘masterplan’ to prepare her son for the throne and ‘soften the edges of transition’.
Her Majesty, 96, was reluctantly forced to pull out of giving the Queen’s Speech for the first time in 59 years on Tuesday due to ‘episodic mobility problems’.
She had only previously missed the event twice in her entire reign – in 1959 and 1963 when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward respectively – and the speech was read by the then Lord Chancellor.
Prince Charles, dressed in ‘full rig’ uniform, read her speech for the first time and was accompanied by Prince William – who had never attended before.
Mobility issues have dogged the Queen since last year and have forced her to cancel a string of high-profile public engagements – with concern raised about whether the increasingly frail she will ever be seen in the Palace of Westminster…