Queen Elizabeth II will not be attending the Easter Sunday worship service in Windsor this year after missing the Maundy Thursday service for only the fifth time in her 70-year reign.
The 95-year-old British monarch, who also serves as head of the Church of England, will be unable to attend services, The Guardian reported, speculating that it was due to health-related issues.
While Buckingham Palace did not disclose an official reason for not attending the services at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, Elizabeth has had to pull out of other events in recent months due to “mobility problems,” The Guardian added.
Since the queen was not able to attend the Maundy Thursday service, Prince Charles oversaw the service tradition of giving what is known as Maundy money to people who had “provided Christian service" over the last year by caring for the elderly or assisting those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In recent years and since the death of her late husband, Prince Philip, the Queen has been delegating some of her annual duties to other members of the royal family. For the first time, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall stood in for the queen at Thursday's church service. Last month, Charles also stood in for the queen at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey.
The four other times the queen missed a Maundy Thursday service include 1954 when the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt. Rev. Michael Gresford Jones, stood in for her, and after giving birth to two of her children (1960 and 1964), and in 1970 when she was on tour in New Zealand in her official capacity as reigning monarch.
In February, Elizabeth tested positive for COVID-19, with Buckingham Palace reporting that she was experiencing "mild cold-like symptoms,” yet still performed “light duties” in her role as queen.
“She will continue to receive medical attention and will follow all the appropriate guidelines,” stated the palace, as reported by the BBC reported.
In 2020, at a time when much of the world had initiated lockdowns in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Elizabeth gave her first official Easter address in which she championed the hope found in Jesus Christ.
“The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave His followers new hope and fresh purpose, and we can all take heart from this. We know that coronavirus will not overcome us,” she said.
“As dark as death can be — particularly for those suffering with grief — light and life are greater. May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future.”
Born April 21, 1926, in Mayfair, London, Elizabeth became queen in 1953, with her setting the record for longest-reigning monarch in British history in September 2015.