Queen Elizabeth is officially lightening her workload, passing along some of her royal responsibilities to her son, Prince Charles.
Last week, Buckingham Palace released its annual report revealing that the monarch’s role as Head of State and Head of Nation has been formally amended. Her royal duties have been changed from thirteen bullet points to a less specific description of responsibilities and the list of duties she “must fulfill” has also been removed, per The Sunday Telegraph. The quiet change in the royal’s job description seems to be an attempt to accommodate the queen’s ongoing mobility issues that have caused her to pull out of a number of public engagements in recent months. This is the first time in over a decade that there has been a formal change to the monarch’s responsibilities.
The Sovereign Grant report divides the queen’s role into two parts, “The role of Head of State, which is a formal constitutional concept, common to all nations and involves the official duties which The Queen, by constitutional convention, must fulfill.” And, additionally, “The role of Head of Nation, a much more symbolic role in the life of the Nation, involving duties which are not directed by the constitution but which The Queen carries out where appropriate or necessary.”
Queen Elizabeth has been ceding more and more of her public engagements to Prince Charles in recent years, including allowing him to formally open British Parliament, which was the first time in almost 60 years the monarch did not attend the ceremony. In June, he also stepped in to represent his mother at Trooping the Colour and when she skipped the first day of the Royal Ascot due to mobility issues. During her Platinum Jubilee, the queen also had to miss the church service held in her honor due to “discomfort.”
However, despite her many recent absences from royal events, Queen Elizabeth was front and center at a series of celebratory occasions held last week at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, her home in Edinburgh, Scotland. She started off the week by attending the historic Ceremony of the Keys, along with her youngest son, Prince Edward, and his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, where she was given the keys to the city of Edinburgh and welcomed to her “ancient and hereditary kingdom of Scotland.” The next day, she also took in the Armed Forces Act of Loyalty Parade taking place in the gardens of the palace, waving to the crowds and troops as they passed.
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