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Queen will NOT step back but will 'pace'  her engagements

Royal commentator Dickie Arbiter has said the Queen will not step down, despite concerns over her health after she cancelled a trip to Northern Ireland this week following medical advice to rest for the next few days.

Speaking on GMB this morning, the former press secretary to the Queen, 95, told Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid that anyone asking the monarch to retire was 'patronising and fighting fire'.

Instead, Dickie, 81, suggested the Queen would ask officials to 'pace' her engagements as she continues her duties as sovereign. 

Royal commentator Dickie Arbiter has said the Queen will not step down, despite concerns over her health after she cancelled a trip to Northern Ireland this week following medical advice to rest for the next few days (seen last week  in Cardiff)

Speaking on ITV today, Dickie said: 'The Queen made her feelings very crystal clear when she told the "Oldie awards" to naff off.

'Remembrance Day is coming up and is sacred in her diary. To suggest she'll step back is patronising and fighting fire - the Queen will instead ask her officials to pace her engagements more.' 

Explaining why the Queen would not step down, he continued: 'During her coronation she made a vow in the eyes of god, and you can't compare that promise to the pope retiring. 

'The Queen has had a very strenuous few days ago, which is why doctors probably advised her to cancel her upcoming trip. It's a lot to ask of anyone any age - even when she's not at engagements the monarch has mounds of paperwork to go through.'

He concluded: 'The officials at Buckingham Palace will be looking very carefully to pace her engagements. There's only so much Charles, William and Kate can do.'

Dickie, 81, suggested the Queen would ask officials to 'pace' her engagements as she continues her duties as sovereign.

However biographer Angela Levin argued that the Queen is battling feelings of guilt, and should be encouraged to step down.

She said: 'The Queen feels very guilty as she made a promise at 21 that she'll be Queen until she dies, but the Pope made the same vows and has since retired.

'Things have changed since the royal made that promise and people live longer nowadays. 

'The Queen is incredibly alert but it's too much for her physically - at the moment it's a fight between mind and body - she should be  encouraged to step back slowly.'

Arguing that the Queen should retire after the Platinum Jubilee in June, which marks 70 years on the throne, Angela  added: 'The Queen needs to look after herself and make allowances. 

'Prince Philip said the same thing when he retired and allowed himself a break. We should all be encouraging the Queen to step back and enjoy the rest of her life.' 

Angela Levin argued that the Queen is battling feelings of guilt, and should be encouraged to step down

Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid discussed  the news that the Queen cancelled her trip to Northern Ireland after she 'reluctantly accepted medical advice to rest for the next few days'

On Wednesday the Queen cancelled her trip to Northern Ireland after she 'reluctantly accepted medical advice to rest for the next few days'.

The monarch - who has been seen using a walking stick at engagements over the past week - is said to be in good spirits but disappointed not to be able to carry out the two-day trip, which was due to begin yesterday.

The Queen has had a busy few days and hosted a major global investment summit at Windsor Castle yesterday evening. She also had engagements last week at the Welsh Senedd in Cardiff and Westminster Abbey in London.

Queen Elizabeth II meets attendees at a reception for Global Investment Conference delegates at Windsor Castle on Tuesday

October 14 -- Queen Elizabeth II uses a walking stick attends the opening ceremony of the Welsh Senedd in Cardiff

The Queen is now resting at Windsor Castle and is still expected at this stage to host a reception in Scotland on November 1 for the Cop26 conference, although it is likely a view will be taken on this nearer the time.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said in a statement issued shortly after 11am this morning: 'The Queen has reluctantly accepted medical advice to rest for the next few days.

'Her Majesty is in good spirits and is disappointed that she will no longer be able to visit Northern Ireland, where she had been due to undertake a series of engagements today and tomorrow. The Queen sends her warmest good wishes to the people of Northern Ireland, and looks forward to visiting in the future.'

A royal source said there was 'no cause for caution' about the Queen's health - and her decision is understood not to be related to coronavirus. Her condition has not been revealed.

The Queen is double-vaccinated, having been given her first jab by a household doctor at Windsor Castle on January 9 and her second at the end of March ahead of what was her first public appearance in five months.

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

Queen's engagements over the past fortnight

October 6 -- 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 7  -- Prince Edward and the Queen attend the launch of the Queen's Baton Relay for Birmingham 2022, the XXII Commonwealth Games, at Buckingham Palace

October 10 -- She goes to The Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor as she returns to Sunday morning church 

October 12 -- The Queen uses a walking stick as she attends a service at Westminster Abbey in London 

October 13 -- Dame Imogen Cooper is presented with The Queen's Medal for Music at Buckingham Palace

October 14 -- She uses a walking stick as she attends the opening ceremony of the Welsh Senedd in Cardiff

October 16 -- The Queen is inducted into the British Champions Series Hall of Fame in Ascot Racecourse 

Monday -  The Queen holds a virtual audience with the new governor-general of New Zealand

Yesterday --  Virtual audience at Windsor Castle for the Japanese ambassador Hajime Hayashi and EU ambassador Joao de Almeida at Buckingham Palace

Yesterday -- Reception for Global Investment Conference delegates at Windsor Castle