William will lay wreath on behalf of Queen at Anzac Day ceremony

Prince William will lay wreath on behalf of the Queen at Anzac Day ceremony to remember the war dead of Australia and New Zealand at the Cenotaph

  • It is the latest in a series of commitments the monarch, soon 96, has missed
  • She has also conducted much of her business over Zoom from Windsor Castle
  • William will also attend a service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey 

Prince William will lay a wreath on behalf of the Queen at this month’s Anzac Day ceremony, held at the Cenotaph to remember the war dead of Australia and New Zealand.

It is the latest in a series of commitments the monarch, who turns 96 next week, has missed amid concerns over her health.

The Duke of Cambridge, second in line to the throne, will perform the gesture in her place and will also attend a service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey. 

The two events fall on April 25, and will follow a Dawn Service at Wellington Arch at London’s Hyde Park Corner which will be attended by the Queen’s cousin the Duke of Gloucester.

Some 300 to 400 former and serving military personnel and their families and members of veterans associations will gather at the Cenotaph for the wreath laying.

The traditional church service in the abbey will feature an address by the Dean of Westminster, readings from the New Zealand and Australian high commissioners, prayers read by children of each country, and a Maori waiata performed by London-based Ngati Ranana London Maori Club.

The Queen attends the Anzac Day commemoration service and lays a wreath at The Cenotaph in 2015

The Duke of Cambridge, second in line to the throne, will perform the gesture in her place this year and will also attend a service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey

News of the Queen’s absence comes just days after Buckingham Palace announced she had pulled out of the annual Maundy Day church service ‘with regret’, Buckingham Palace has announced.

In a first for her reign, Her Majesty, who turns 96 this month, will instead be represented by Prince Charles and Camilla at the event, due to be held on Thursday.

The service will take place a St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle following a two-year hiatus due to the Covid pandemic.

That revelation came after the Queen, who suffers from widely-publicised mobility issues, also pulled out of the Commonwealth Service last month.

Her decision not to attend was understood to be related to concerns over her comfort in getting to and from Westminster.

There were also fears she would miss Prince Philip’s memorial at the end of March before a ‘military-style’ plan was hatched to ensure she could arrive comfortably.

The monarch used a stick as she was walked to and from her seat – supported by her disgraced son the Duke of York – to give her ‘strength and stay’ Philip the final farewell he had wanted.

Her Majesty’s presence was only confirmed two hours before the event started.

After a poignant service limited to 40 minutes, she was driven the 22-miles back to Windsor Castle after what was her first major public engagement for approaching six months.

The head of state, who recovered from Covid in February and at times uses a wheelchair, has also been conducting much of her business over Zoom from Windsor Castle in recent months.

The Queen speaking to staff at the Royal London Hospital by video link where she revealed that having Covid has left her ‘tired and exhausted’. Royal commentator Angela Levin says the public should not expect to see her that often during the Platinum Jubilee in June

The Queen held an audience with the incoming and outgoing defence service secretaries at Windsor Castle on February 16

Meanwhile, a royal expert said this week that the ‘very tired’ Queen will limit her Platinum Jubilee appearances to ‘just a few’ events after battling the virus and her ongoing mobility problems.

The monarch admitted in a video call with NHS staff and patients last week that Covid left her ‘exhausted’.   

Royal biographer Angela Levin then said the Queen’s presence at jubilee events will be limited due to her frailty.

She said: ‘It’s going to be very difficult and I think they will only show her in a few instances, maybe at the service at St Paul’s. That will be very important to her because she is a Christian.

‘I don’t think we’ll see her around and about. Maybe she’ll be well enough to sit and watch horses. It won’t be her, everywhere. But if she is there, she will appreciate the fact the public will be wanting to be there and supporting her.

‘I imagine that the aides are worried that if the public don’t see her, people may think that if she’s not there it’s not worth us going.

‘I’m sure everyone in the Palace hopes that people will turn up to show their respects and say thank you for an extraordinary reign both in length and in breadth’.

The Queen´s Platinum Jubilee celebrations programme in full 

Buckingham Palace has unveiled the line-up of celebrations to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee for the first time.

Street parties, a concert featuring some of the world’s biggest stars and a chance to see the Queen’s homes up close are all included in the programme to mark her 70 years on the throne.

Here is a list of all of the events taking place for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee:

– May 12-15: Platinum Jubilee Celebration

More than 500 horses and 1,000 performers will take part in a 90-minute show taking the Windsor Castle audience through history right from Elizabeth I to present day.

Bank Holiday: June 2: Queen’s Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour)

The colour will be trooped on Horse Guards Parade by the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards and over 1,200 officers and soldiers from the Household Division who will put on a display. Sandringham and Balmoral will also be open for residents and visitors to enjoy the celebrations across the Bank Holiday.

Platinum Jubilee Beacons

The UK will join the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories to light a beacon to mark the Jubilee. The Principal Beacon will also be lit in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

June 3: Service of Thanksgiving

The Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral.

June 4: Platinum Party at the Palace

Some of the world’s greatest entertainers are billed to perform at the concert at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the most significant moments from the Queen’s reign.

June 5: Big Jubilee Lunch

Street parties are being planned across the UK and neighbours are expected to join together for food and fun to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. It will mark the end of the Bank Holiday.

Platinum Jubilee Pageant

Performers will come together in London to tell the story of the Queen’s reign through a pageant that will include a ‘River of Hope’ section made up of 200 silk flags that will make its way through The Mall, appearing like a moving river.

July: The Royal Collection Trust

Three displays marking the Queen’s accession to the throne, the Coronation and Jubilees will be put on at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

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