There are fresh fears for the Queen’s health after she was forced to cancel an annual event in the royal calendar.
Her Majesty, 96, spends her summers at Balmoral in Scotland and traditionally holds a welcome ceremony outside the castle in Aberdeenshire.
But the event was on Sunday canceled and replaced with a smaller gathering, which saw her inspect troops with no TV cameras present.
It is the first time the Queen has skipped the event, with the exception of during the Covid pandemic.
“The traditional welcome to Balmoral is normally cemented in the Queen’s calendar and something Her Majesty really enjoys, being able to greet locals who travel to see her,” a source told the Daily Mirror.
“It’s a bitter disappointment the ceremony will not take place in its traditional form.”
Another insider grimly warned the Queen’s absence was “very much a sign of things to come”.
Buckingham Palace said the Queen’s schedule was being adjusted for her comfort.
At some recent royal engagements, Her Majesty has been seen using a cane to help her get around.
She usually stays at Balmoral until October, but it is understood that she will make a brief return to London – either at Buckingham Palace or at Windsor – on September 6 when Boris Johnson hands in his resignation as Prime Minister of the UK.
Her Majesty will then welcome the winner of the Conservative Party’s leadership contest, which will be either Foreign Secretary Liz Truss or former Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
She is then expected to return to Scotland.
Queen was forced to pull out of Royal Ascot – one of her favorite events in the royal calendar, earlier this year.
She had attended every meet since ascending to the throne in 1952.
The monarch was replaced by Prince Charles, Camilla and Peter Phillips.
Her Majesty was also absent from the Epsom Derby and a service at St Pauls’s Cathedral during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, but appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony for a fly-past.
Before that, she attended the Chelsea Flower Show with the help of a mobility scooter.
The Queen’s health issues appeared to start last year, when she was forced to miss the Remembrance Day service with a sprained back.
She later came down with Covid, but continued to hold meetings via videolink.