Queen pulls out of Highland Games as health fears rise

The Queen has pulled out of the Highland Games, sparking further fears for her health.

Her Majesty, 96, usually attends matches with the Prime Minister but royal sources have said she will not be going this year to help with his ‘comfort’.
Prince Charles will attend the event, which is said to be one of the favorite engagements on the Queen’s calendar, on her behalf.

It is understood that royal attendants have been briefed on how to comfortably bring Her Majesty to the event at the Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park in Braemar, and how long she should be seated there.

The competition sees hardened competitors practice traditional Scottish sports like tug-of-war and caber-tossing.

It comes days after it was revealed the Queen would not be able to travel to London to meet Britain’s new Prime Minister next week, with either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak expected to travel to meet her in Balmoral, Scotland, in the place.

In a tradition that predates Her Majesty’s reign, the Sovereign always greets the outgoing and incoming Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at Buckingham Palace in London.

But, for the first time since 1908, Boris Johnson and his successor – Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak – will have to travel 1,600 km to Aberdeenshire to meet her.

It was reported last week that Prince Charles was making “regular and daily” visits to his mother, which is considered unusual.

The heir to the throne does not usually make unscheduled visits to the queen and they are most often arranged by palace officials.

Prince Andrew stayed with the Queen at Balmoral, where she spends most of her summers.

The monarch was last seen in public more than a month ago on July 21 as she arrived at Aberdeen Airport.

Traditionally, the outgoing Prime Minister visits the Queen at Buckingham Palace after resigning or losing an election.

The outgoing Prime Minister advises the Queen on who commands the majority of MPs in the House of Commons and should then run the country.

A few minutes later, the incoming Prime Minister then meets the Queen and “kisses the hands” of Her Majesty.

In the past, it was compulsory to kiss the hands of the sovereign, but “kissing the hands” now only refers to the meeting that takes place between the Queen and the new Prime Minister.

Ms Truss, the British Foreign Secretary, is the favorite to become the UK’s new Prime Minister when the results of the Conservative Party leadership race are announced on Monday evening (AEST).

The winner of the vote will become the 15th PM during the Queen’s reign.

It will be the first time a monarch has received a new prime minister outside Buckingham Palace since 1908.

On this occasion, King Edward VII asked Herbert Asquith to go to Biarritz, in the south-west of France, where he was on vacation.

Queen Victoria has regularly requested that new Prime Ministers visit her at Balmoral.

Originally published as Queen pulls out of Highland Games as health fears rise

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Jennifer R. Strohm