The ailing Queen has suddenly pulled out of her Jubilee thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral tomorrow after being stricken with pain during today’s festivities.
Her Majesty, 96, is said to have taken the decision with “great reluctance” after suffering “discomfort” while watching a 70-aircraft RAF flypast on the balcony of Buckingham Palace while cheered by crowds of fans.
It comes after the frail monarch has been suffering “episodic mobility problems” in the weeks leading up to this week’s four-day celebration of her 70-year reign.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement:
The Queen greatly enjoyed today’s Birthday Parade and Flypast but did experience some discomfort.
It is understood she will still attend tonight's beacon lighting event.
The palace added: “Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty with great reluctance has concluded that she will not attend.
“The Queen is looking forward to participating in tonight’s Beacon lighting event at Windsor Castle and would like to thank all those who made today such a memorable occasion.”
The news came shortly after it was confirmed the Queen’s shamed second son Prince Andrew was pulling out of the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s on Friday.
Her Majesty was spotted on the balcony at Buckingham Palace with a walking stick on the crook of her arm.
She was seen wearing sunglasses, her Guards brooch and the blue Angela Kelly outfit used in her official Platinum Jubilee portrait – and exclaimed “incredible” when she took the salute after arriving from Windsor Castle.
The 70 aircraft flypast in her honour included Apache helicopters, Typhoons and the Red Arrows.
Fifteen RAF Typhoons also paid tribute by flying in the formation of the number 70.
Prince Harry, 37, and Meghan Markle, 40, did not appear on the Palace balcony but were reunited with some relatives at a room of the Major General’s Office at the other end of The Mall on Horse Guards Parade.
It followed months of fevered speculation about whether the couple would attend the Jubilee after they branded the royal family racist in a shocking interview with Oprah Winfrey.
They were only allowed to watch from the room overlooking the Whitehall parade ground after the Queen declared the balcony line-up would only consist of senior working royals.
The packed events of the Platinum Jubilee weekend will wind up on Sunday with a pageant celebrating the life of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
A beacon consisting of more than 2,000 torches across the UK and the Commonwealth will be lit tonight to honour her seven decades on the throne.
The thanksgiving service will be the biggest royal outing of the Jubilee and it is thought all other senior royals will attend.
They include Prince Harry, Meghan and the couple’s two children Archie, three, and Lilibet – who turns one on Saturday.
It emerged earlier this week the Queen was not expected to attend Saturday's Derby – one of her favourite events of the year – and is believed to have chosen to watch on the television.
The Duke of York’s appearance at the thanksgiving was to be his only public one of the jubilee after his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein left him in disgrace and stripped of royal duties.
He pulled out after testing positive for Covid.
The shamed royal, who has seen the Queen in the last few days, learned he had the virus after a routine test today.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “After undertaking a routine test the duke has tested positive for Covid and with regret will no longer be attending tomorrow’s service.”
It is understood Andrew has been doing regular testing and has not seen the Queen since he tested positive.
The Queen also tested positive for Covid in February and later admitted it left her exhausted.