Queen's New Ailment Forces Her to Miss Remembrance Day Service

Queen Elizabeth II missed the Remembrance Sunday service in London to remember Britain's war dead after spraining her back, Buckingham Palace said.

The service was widely expected to be the 95-year-old monarch's first public appearance since she canceled events on doctors' orders in recent weeks.

Buckingham Palace had previously said it was the queen's "firm intention" to attend the service after taking time away from her duties following a stay in hospital last month.

But on Sunday morning, palace officials said there had been a last-minute change of plans after the queen sustained a back injury.

On behalf of The Queen, a wreath is laid by The Prince of Wales at the Cenotaph as part of the National Service of Remembrance.#RemembranceSunday #LestWeForget pic.twitter.com/biwk3kj1YU

— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) November 14, 2021

A wreath was laid on her behalf by her son, Prince Charles, at the Cenotaph in London. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and other members of the royal family attended the service as planned.

"The Queen, having sprained her back, has decided this morning with great regret that she will not be able to attend today's Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph," the statement said. "Her Majesty is disappointed that she will miss the service. As in previous years, a wreath will be laid on Her Majesty's behalf by The Prince of Wales."

The queen's back sprain is unrelated to her doctor's recent advice to rest, according to U.K. news agency PA Media.

Doctors had advised her to rest for at least two weeks after she spent a night in hospital on October 20 after being admitted for medical tests.

"The doctors have advised that Her Majesty can continue to undertake light, desk-based duties during this time, including some virtual audiences, but not to undertake any official visits," the palace said in a statement in late October.

Queen Elizabeth II at Ascot Racecourse
Queen Elizabeth II during the Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot Racecourse on October 16, 2021 in Ascot, England. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

The queen's first overnight hospital stay in years came after she was twice spotted using a walking stick at official engagements, after previously having knee operations in 2003.

Following her release from the hospital, the queen canceled events including a planned appearance at the United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland, earlier this month, sending a video message instead.

She also missed the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday.

The queen has only missed six other Remembrance Sunday services during her reign, according to the BBC. She was overseas on four of those occasions and pregnant with her two youngest children when she missed services in 1959 and 1963.

The queen, who is Britain's longest-reigning monarch, is due to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee marking 70 years on the throne next year.

Update 11/14/21 8:35 a.m. ET: This article has been updated with more information.