Queen Elizabeth II reluctantly accepts medical advice to rest, cancels Northern Ireland trip

Associated Press

LONDON – Queen Elizabeth II has reluctantly accepted medical advice to rest for a few days and has canceled a trip to Northern Ireland, Buckingham Palace said Wednesday.

The palace didn't offer specifics on the decision but said the 95-year-old monarch was “in good spirits'' and disappointed that she would not be visiting Northern Ireland for engagements Wednesday and Thursday.

“The Queen sends her warmest good wishes to the people of Northern Ireland, and looks forward to visiting in the future,'' the palace said.

She is resting at Windsor Castle, where she has stayed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. The decision to cancel the trip was not COVID-19-related, the palace said.

The decision came just days after Elizabeth was seen using a walking stick at a major public event when attending a Westminster Abbey service marking the centenary of the Royal British Legion, an armed forces charity.

She had been photographed using a cane in 2003, but that was after she had knee surgery.

In this file photo taken on June 11, 2021 Britain's Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she attends an event in celebration of The Big Lunch initiative at The Eden Project, near St Austell in south west England on June 11, 2021.

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Elizabeth is Britain’s longest-lived and longest-reigning monarch. But despite her age, don’t call her an oldie.

Though the queen heeded the advice to rest, she has politely declined the honor of being named “Oldie of the Year” by a British magazine, saying she does not meet “the relevant criteria.”

The Oldie magazine on Tuesday published the queen’s response to its suggestion that she follow in the footsteps of earlier recipients, including former Prime Minister John Major, actor Olivia de Havilland and artist David Hockney.

“Her Majesty believes you are as old as you feel, as such The Queen does not believe she meets the relevant criteria to be able to accept, and hopes you will find a more worthy recipient,” said a letter from her assistant private secretary, Tom Laing-Baker. He ended the letter “with Her Majesty’s warmest best wishes.”

The Oldie of the Year prize honors people of advanced age who have made a special contribution to public life. The queen’s husband, Prince Philip, who died in April, received the accolade in 2011, when he was 90.

After the queen declined, this year’s Oldie of the Year award went to movie royalty instead: French-American actress and dancer Leslie Caron, 90.