Queen Elizabeth pulls out of COP26 climate summit following medical advice to rest
London — Queen Elizabeth II will not attend the upcoming COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland following medical advice to rest, Buckingham Palace said Tuesday. The queen spent a night in the hospital last week to undergo preliminary checks, according to the Palace — her first overnight stay in eight years.
"Her Majesty is disappointed not to attend the Reception but will deliver a message to the assembled delegates via a recorded video message," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
The 95-year-old queen resumed official engagements on Tuesday, carrying out virtual events from Windsor Castle. She is limiting herself to light duties, however, canceling a recent planned trip to Northern Ireland. In recent weeks, she has been seen using a walking stick. Her hospital stay was only confirmed by the Palace after being reported by the tabloid press.
The Prince of Wales as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are still scheduled to attend the Glasgow climate summit.
The Press Association news agency reported it was hoped that world leaders would not use the queen's absence as an excuse not to attend the conference. She had previously been picked up on video appearing to express irritation at the global lack of action on climate change.
"I've been hearing all about COP... still don't know who is coming... no idea," she appeared to say in a video showing her speaking with Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. "We only know about people who are not coming... It's really irritating when they talk, but they don't do."
On Tuesday, the queen virtually received the Korean ambassador to the U.K., Gunn Kim, and the Swiss ambassador to the U.K., Markus Leitner. Royal commentators have been happy to see the queen resume official duties.
"It is encouraging because she hasn't been seen publicly for a week and now we're seeing her back at work," said Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, according to the Press Association. "Although she has been working on her boxes behind the scenes, this is the more visible monarch again."
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