The Queenhas been forced to cancel one of her traditional engagements this year – the annual service for the Order of the Garter. The event, which takes place at Windsor Castle every June, has been called off. It was due to take place on Monday Jun. 19, but will not go ahead this year as it appears the Queen is double-booked. Her Majesty will instead attend the State Opening of Parliament, which will take place following Prime Minister Theresa May's snap general election.
A statement from Buckingham Palace noted that the Queen will attend the State Opening, as she does every year, to show her "support of the parliamentary and constitutional process". It concluded: "Additionally, owing to the revised calendar, the State Opening of Parliament will take place with reduced ceremonial elements."
Because of time constraints, this means that Her Majesty, 91, will not wear her ceremonial robes or the Imperial State Crown, nor is she expected to travel to Parliament by carriage, as she does most years with her husband Prince Philip.
The upcoming State Opening is being described as "a pale shadow of its former self" by the BBC's royal correspondent Peter Hunt, who also notes that we will see a "dressed down" monarch. Officials insist that the temporary changes have nothing to do with the Queen's age but rather lack of time to rehearse properly; last year, Her Majesty chose to use a lift rather than walk up the stairs.
Knights of the Garter and others who were due to attend the now-cancelled Order of the Garter ceremony have been informed that the event is no longer going ahead. Each year a procession and service takes place at Windsor Castle, where Her Majesty formally invests new Companions of the Order of the Garter with the insignia. She then hosts members and officers of the Order at a lunch in the Waterloo Chamber.