Queen Elizabeth II returned to the public stage for a live Commonwealth Day TV broadcast on Thursday — two days after refusing to undergo an emergency scan to rule out a serious chest infection — but she had to cancel another public appearance later that day when doctors advised her not to take part in a church service.
The 92-year-old queen took part in a 10-minute audio address ahead of the service in St. James’s Palace, the official London residence of the royal family. However, Buckingham Palace announced that the queen was skipping her scheduled attendance at the Church of England service later Thursday because of doctors’ advice.
A spokesman said, “As a result of doctors’ advice, the Queen will not attend the Service of Thanksgiving this afternoon but will be available to deliver a message for the service which was recorded yesterday.”
The queen, who has been suffering from a stomach bug, appeared healthy and at ease as she took part in the recording and waved to well-wishers gathered in the snowy cold outside the palace. She smiled and waved at the thousands of supporters and did not appear ill.
She previously cancelled a planned trip to Scotland and left Prince Philip behind after having a full day of treatment for a blocked coronary artery, including surgery on Wednesday evening.
The queen’s illness prompted Prime Minister Theresa May to attend a service at Westminster Abbey on Thursday with the archbishop of Canterbury.
The queen’s official spokesman, Mr. James McGrath, on Wednesday said she is being treated “as normal,” and will be able to carry out all her public engagements. She “remains in very good spirits and is looking forward to resuming her schedule of official engagements over the coming days,” he said.
Police, meanwhile, said it has quarantined a member of the royal household after being diagnosed with norovirus, an infectious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea, while visiting Parliament.
In the electronic bulletin to the nation, the queen noted “a very nice surprise” when she received good wishes from children in Wales on Tuesday, who “rarely dreamt” that their feet might touch the carpet of the Royal Rolls Royce or feel flowers in their mouths.
The queen said the stories brought a smile to her face. “Many of them are familiar to me, but when they told me their trips to Buckingham Palace had made them feel rather less nervous, that was an added pleasure,” she said.
The Commonwealth Day service honors all the former British colonies that are members of the organization, and includes hymns, prayers and readings. The queen’s husband, Prince Philip, and son, Prince Charles, accompanied her at the broadcast.
The queen and Philip are scheduled to attend the State Opening of Parliament on Monday, followed by a glittering carriage procession through the center of London the following evening.