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Queen will continue to work behind the scenes during Cop26

Royal experts suggested today that there could now be a 'reassessment and possibly a slight gear change in the kind of work the Queen does' after the monarch last night dramatically pulled out of attending Cop26.

Six days before the 95-year-old due to attend a reception and give a speech at the landmark conference, Buckingham Palace said she had 'regretfully' decided not to go – and would instead remain at Windsor Castle.

The Queen will continue to work behind the scenes while next week's climate change summit takes place in Glasgow and record a video message - but there could now be a chance in the distances she travels in future.  

It comes amid fears for the health of Queen - who will film a video message which will be broadcast to delegates in Glasgow - after she was forced to cancel a visit to Northern Ireland at the 11th hour last Wednesday.

Palace sources insisted that her decision not to travel to Scotland was simply a 'sensible precaution' in light of her doctor's advice to rest and that she was determined the conference should be a success.

Another source said it would have been 'unwise' for the Queen to make the 800-mile round trip from Windsor to Glasgow for the major event which aims to agree crucial global action on climate change.

Royal expert Roya Nikkhah said today: 'We had some quite interesting background guidance yesterday from royal sources saying that although she's not going to be there in person, she is going to filming this video address this week and she is going to be working behind the scenes to make sure there are meaningful actions.

'And I thought what was really interesting was the guidance we had that she's very keen that other world leaders and heads of state don't use her absence as an excuse not to attend. So she's following it very, very closely.'

Ms Nikkah, royal editor of the Sunday Times, who was speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, added: 'It's quite a trip for a 95-year-old and she's had this incredibly packed both public and private diary for a few weeks, which has obviously left her pretty tired. And I think the feeling probably was – we don't know, because we're not doctors – but the feeling probably was from her doctors it was a little bit much for her to go up and do all that.

'And it's not just the travel – it's also being on. It's also entertaining and hosting world leaders, talking to them about climate change and all of that – I think the feeling probably is that's just a little bit too much at the moment until she's back to full strength.'

She continued: 'I think there will be a reassessment and possibly a slight gear change in the kind of work the Queen does, the distances she travels, but I don't think we will see – all being well, if the Queen is able to continue with public duties as we hope that she will be – I think we will still see her out and about as much as she and her doctors feel she can – but I think there will be a gear change, and her private secretaries and her diary secretaries looking at engagements that come in and thinking what does Her Majesty the Queen really need to be at, and what does she feel she really can do. So I think there will be a constant review going forwards now.'

Last night, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said: 'Following advice to rest, The Queen has been undertaking light duties at Windsor Castle. Her Majesty has regretfully decided that she will no longer travel to Glasgow to attend the evening reception of Cop26 on Monday, November 1. Her Majesty is disappointed not to attend the reception but will deliver an address to the assembled delegates via a recorded video message.' 

The palace has still not explained why the Queen was taken to hospital last week. After it was announced she had cancelled the Northern Ireland visit, the palace initially said the monarch was resting at Windsor. It was only 36 hours later, after news had leaked out, that a spokesman confirmed she had been admitted to King Edward VII's hospital in London for 'preliminary investigations'.

Aides had hoped that the head of state would be well enough to lead the Royal Family at the summit, either in person or via video-link. And earlier on Tuesday she returned to work at Windsor, where she is resting on doctors' orders, for the first time since last week.  

The pictures show her face on a computer screen as she greeted the new ambassador from the Republic of Korea, Gunn Kim, who was at Buckingham Palace. She also spoke to the new Swiss ambassador, Markus Leitner.

The Queen's decision not to attend Cop26 will be a blow to organisers. There are few people on the world stage who command the same respect and authority as the British monarch. With the head of state missing from the event, it is hoped no world leaders will use her absence as a reason not to attend the summit. It previously emerged that Xi Jinping - president of China, now the planet's biggest polluter - is skipping the much-anticipated conference.

The Royal Family will still be represented by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge - both of whom have strong environmental campaigning credentials - as well as the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge.

Senior royal aides said the Queen will be working hard behind the scenes to make the summit a success. She will film her video message at Windsor Castle later this week and has let it be known that she 'very much wants Cop26 to be a success and see meaningful actions'. 

Queen Elizabeth II hosted a reception for international business and investment leaders at Windsor Castle on October 19

A general view of the SSE Hydro located on the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow on September 1, 2021

The Queen was photographed at Windsor Castle today in a picture released on the royal family's social media accounts. The monarch was shown side on, smiling as she sat in a chair with her hands in her lap, in front of her large computer screen. On the table were the Queen's folded glasses and several pages of typed briefing notes for the audiences

Queen Elizabeth II appears on a screen via videolink from Windsor Castle this morning

Earlier this month she criticised world leaders' inaction on addressing the climate change crisis.

Queen hasn't walked dogs for nearly a week 

The Queen has not been able to enjoy her daily walk with her dogs for almost a week after being told to rest by doctors.

Sources say the monarch has been taking their orders to rest seriously after she was kept in hospital overnight on Wednesday for 'preliminary investigations'.

The Queen, 95, has two corgi puppies and dorgi Candy, a cross between a corgi and a dachshund. One of the highlights of her day is being driven to walk them near Frogmore on her Windsor estate, where Harry and Meghan once lived.

Family and friends believe these daily excursions are a 'tonic' and have helped keep the Queen so healthy in her nineties.

But instead the dogs have been walked by staff since her hospital stay. Buckingham Palace said yesterday that the Queen was still in good spirits and undertaking some 'light duties' while resting.

It is still hoped she will be able to lead the Royal Family at the Cop26 UN climate change summit in Glasgow next week, either in person or via video link. A final decision will be made towards the end of this week.

At a reception following the official opening of the Welsh parliament, the Queen referred to Cop26 and said: 'I've been hearing all about Cop... still don't know who is coming. No idea. We only know about people who are not coming... It's really irritating when they talk, but they don't do.'

A palace source told the Mail that the Queen was being 'cautious and sensible' by changing her plans.

'Her Majesty is following advice - rest and light duties,' they said. 'She remains in good spirits. Her Majesty had audiences today and is expecting a call with the Chancellor this evening, as is the norm before the Budget. There are other light engagements in the diary.'

The monarch is being carefully looked after by the Medical Household, her team of royal physicians, but the Mail revealed last week that she had carried out 19 engagements in October - a phenomenal workload for a woman of her age.     

Two weeks ago she was forced to start using a walking stick in public for the first time - a stark reminder of her advancing years. And last Tuesday the monarch was on her feet for almost an hour when she held a lavish reception for guests including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and US climate envoy John Kerry, where she looked bright and cheerful. 

Buckingham Palace said she 'remains in good spirits', though a royal source told The Sunday Times: 'She is knackered.' And an insider told the Mail: 'Her private office will constantly look at her diary and tweak it as and when is necessary.' 

It also emerged that the Queen, who is deeply religious and rarely does not attend church, missed prayers at Windsor's All Saints Chapel in Windsor on Sunday.  

She has been resting following medical advice to cancel her two-day trip to Northern Ireland. 

The Queen had a busy schedule of engagements in the first weeks of October following her return from Balmoral.

Her hospital stay was kept a secret and only confirmed by the Palace when it was revealed by a newspaper.  

It is understood the trip to the private King Edward VII's Hospital in London (pictured) last week was expected to be for a short stay for some 'preliminary investigations' 

October 16 -- Queen Elizabeth II attends Champions Day at Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire

October 13 -- Dame Imogen Cooper is received by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, London, where she was presented with The Queen's Medal for Music for 2019

October 12 -- Queen Elizabeth II uses a walking stick as she arrives to attend a service at Westminster Abbey in London

October 10 -- Queen Elizabeth II is seen on her way to The Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor as she returns to church

October 6 -- Queen Elizabeth II gestures as she meets members of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery to mark the 150th Anniversary of the foundation of A and B Batteries, at Windsor Castle

October 4 -- The Queen is shown the baton that will carry her personal message at Buckingham Palace in London ahead of the launch of the Queen's Baton Relay for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

October 2 -- Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall looks on at the opening of the sixth session of the Scottish Parliament

It is highly unusual that any major engagement would be cancelled at the last minute, suggesting that staff are taking no chances with the elderly head of state's health.   

Prince Andrew lawsuit 'will cast cloud over Queen's Platinum Jubilee'

The Queen's platinum jubilee is set to be dogged by her son Palace Andrew's court drama, in what a royal expert has described as 'grim news' for Buckingham Palace.

Documents lodged in New York show the civil case of rape and sexual assault being brought against him by Jeffrey Esptein's victim is to go ahead as quickly as possible.

Judge Lewis Kaplan has ruled, with the agreement of both parties, that all disclosures and depositions should be completed before July next year.

This means that key moments in the case will be heard in the run-up to the official national celebrations to mark the Queen's 70 years on the throne.

And royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said that there will now be a 'cloud' over the festivities, caused by Andrew's 'atrociously ill-advised friendship with Epstein'.

The commemorations will last throughout the year and will see senior royals – except Andrew – travel around the country and overseas. The events will culminate in a four-day bank holiday over the first weekend of June.

She has faced a tumultuous 18 months, including the death of the Duke of Edinburgh as well as the acrimonious departure of Prince Harry and wife Meghan. 

The Queen still keeps a busy diary of events and audiences and deals with her daily red boxes of official papers. 

Since she returned to Windsor from her summer break at Balmoral, the Queen has carried out 15 engagements, listed in the Court Circular, including her audiences, plus an additional trip to Ascot. 

Senior aides at Buckingham Palace are scrambling to devise a strategy for managing the Queen's workload after being accused of misleading the public over her health.

Sir Edward Young, the Queen's private secretary, last night faced calls to 'be ruthless' and purge the Monarch's diary of functions not central to her role as head of state.

Officials are understood to be drawing up a 'core' list of key events that the Queen will prioritise in the next 12 months, including the Platinum Jubilee to celebrate her 70-year reign in June.

It comes amid reports the Queen will be accompanied by one of her children or grandchildren when she appears in public in the future to avoid having to cancel and let down the public in the event of future health scares.

Another member of the Royal Family will be on hand to step in should she need company or assistance, the Sunday Telegraph reported. 

Meanwhile, the Palace's communications team is under pressure to be more candid should the 95-year-old Monarch require further visits to hospital.

The Queen's courtiers faced extensive criticism last week for failing to inform the public that she had been admitted to King Edward VII's Hospital in London on Wednesday and stayed there overnight for tests.

The media was told that she was resting at Windsor Castle and aides revealed the hospital stay only on Thursday night after news leaked out. The controversy has shone a spotlight on the growing challenge faced by the Palace in balancing the Queen's desire to be an active head of state with needing to protect her health.

Royal sources say the easing of Covid restrictions has resulted in a logjam of public events, adding pressure on the Queen's diary. According to Buckingham Palace's Court Circular, she has held 13 separate audiences or meetings, attended seven major events and travelled almost 900 miles since leaving Balmoral on October 1. In addition, every day she still reads Government papers, delivered to her in red boxes, and has a long list of private meetings. 

The Queen's busy schedule before a night in hospital 

The Queen attended a number of engagements before spending a night in hospital on Wednesday last week. She was ordered to rest by doctors and advised to miss a trip to Northern Ireland following her busy schedule.

Here is what the 95-year-old monarch has been up to since her return to Windsor Castle at the start of October:

- October 6: The Queen holds two virtual audiences at Windsor with the Greek ambassador and the ambassador for Belize.

She meets Canadian troops from 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, and later has a telephone audience with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

- October 7: The Queen, with the Earl of Wessex, launches the Queen's Baton Relay for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games from the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.

- October 12: The Queen, accompanied by the Princess Royal, attends a Westminster Abbey service of thanksgiving to mark the centenary of the Royal British Legion.

She uses a walking stick at the abbey - the first time she has done so at a major event.

- October 13: The monarch has a face-to-face audience with pianist Dame Imogen Cooper to present her with the Queen's Medal for Music. She also holds three other audiences.

- October 14: On an away day to Cardiff, the Queen delivers a speech at the sixth session of the Welsh Senedd.

- October 16: The Queen enjoys a day at the races at Ascot, and presents the trophy after the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes during the Qipco British Champions Day.

- October 18: She holds a virtual audience with the new Governor-General of New Zealand, Dame Cindy Kiro.

- October 19: The Queen has three engagements - two virtual audiences with the Japanese ambassador and the EU ambassador, and then hosts an evening reception at Windsor Castle to mark the Global Investment Summit.

'They have to find some kind of balance,' said Sally Bedell Smith, who has written a bestselling biography of the Queen.

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said the Queen's autumn schedule had been more crammed than expected, but last-minute cancellations were inevitable in the future.

'Every now and again there will be this reminder that she is 95 and she can't do what was expected of her 10, 20 years ago,' Mr Little said.

Last week the BBC's veteran Royal Correspondent Nicholas Witchell faced a backlash last night after questioning whether Buckingham Palace undermined public trust by failing to reveal the Queen had been admitted to hospital. 

He added: 'The problem, it seems to me, is that rumour and misinformation always thrive in the absence of proper, accurate and trustworthy information.' 

But his remarks provoked criticism online. 'Nicholas Witchell is honestly so infuriating,' one Royal watcher wrote on Twitter. 'The Queen is 95 and like most her age, she'll be in and out of hospital for various tests because that's what happens at that age no matter how fit you are. She doesn't need to disclose her every move, let her have some dignity.' 

The Queen was seen using a walking stick for the first time at a major engagement during a Westminster Abbey service on October 12. On Thursday October 21, she was said to be in 'good spirits' after her hospital stay and back at her desk, undertaking light duties. But she missed a church service at Windsor on Sunday.

Royal sources had briefed the Sunday Times that the Queen was 'knackered' due to a busy social life and preference for late night television, as having a hectic run of engagements in October.

The Queen's husband of 73 years the Duke of Edinburgh died six months ago at the age of 99.

Buckingham Palace would not comment on whether the monarch has received her booster Covid-19 jab, but given her age it is likely she has already had it.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: 'Her Majesty The Queen today conducted two virtual audiences via video link from Windsor Castle.

'His Excellency Mr Gunn Kim was received in audience by The Queen today via video link and presented the Letters of Recall of his predecessor and his own Letters of Credence as Ambassador from the Republic of Korea to the Court of St James's. 

Mrs Hee Jung Lee was also received by Her Majesty.

'His Excellency Mr Markus Leitner was received in audience by The Queen and presented the Letters of Recall of his predecessor and his own Letters of Credence as Ambassador from the Swiss Confederation to the Court of St. James's. Mrs Leitner was also received by Her Majesty.'