Queen Elizabeth health has been in the spotlight recently, as she’s used a walking cane on multiple occasions over the past few months and even canceled her public appearances due to various health reasons. But what exactly are the queen’s health issues, and why do they appear to be getting worse? Let’s take a look at Queen Elizabeth’s recent health issues, and how they could impact her long-term health as well as her plans to travel around the country in 2022.
What are some of Queen Elizabeth’s recent health problems?
The Queen Elizabeth dealt with a number of health issues in recent months, starting with her use of a walking cane in October 2017. It was later announced that she had an ankle fracture and would be wearing a special boot while it healed. According to reports, she suffered from several falls and appeared unsteady on her feet as early as June 2017.
In January 2018, her husband Prince Philip was rushed to the hospital with chest pains but recovered quickly. Elizabeth herself stayed at Sandringham House, not far from where Prince Philip was being treated, until he returned home three days later. On February, Queen Elizabeth officially turned 91 years old. Her birthday celebration included a reception at Buckingham Palace where she met with members of her family and other guests.
Later that month, Elizabeth reportedly fell again during a trip to Windsor Castle—her second fall in less than two weeks and fractured her pelvis. She remained there for six weeks while recovering from surgery before returning to Buckingham Palace by mid-March 2018. She was seen using a wheelchair during that time period but began walking without assistance again soon after returning home. On April 9, Elizabeth celebrated another milestone, the monarch marked 65 years on the throne—the longest reign for any British monarch ever by attending Easter services with other members of her family at Windsor Castle.
In late September 2018, Queen Elizabeth underwent a successful hip replacement procedure. She was back at work within just one week. In November 2018, Elizabeth visited King’s College Hospital in London to meet with children who have benefited from organ donation. A few days later, she attended Remembrance Sunday events marking 100 years since.
Elizabeth also unveiled a plaque honoring Britain’s contribution to World War II efforts alongside Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But then things took a turn for the worse: Queen Elizabeth has dealt with a number of health issues in recent months, starting with her use of a walking cane in October 2017.
What role does Queen Elizabeth play in the Commonwealth?
Queen Elizabeth II has served as head of state for a total of 16 Commonwealth nations since she ascended to that position in 1952. In addition to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, members of what is officially called The Commonwealth Realm include Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Belize and Grenada. Currently under consideration are possible admission requests from Papua New Guinea in Oceania and Rwanda in central Africa.
There is no predetermined process by which new member countries join The Commonwealth Realm but several former British colonies have become republics at some point after achieving independence from Great Britain. It’s worth noting that Elizabeth does not serve as head of government in any Commonwealth nation—that role is filled by a president or prime minister—but her unique status as monarch gives her an important symbolic role.
As queen, she also serves as commander-in-chief of all military forces within The Commonwealth Realm. This includes all four branches of each country’s armed forces: land, sea, air and special operations units. Elizabeth also holds ceremonial roles like presiding over formal ceremonies like Trooping the Color or presenting colors to military units during visits to Commonwealth nations around the world.
She receives foreign heads of state on behalf of The Commonwealth Realm and travels extensively throughout member countries for official duties. She was born on April 21, 1926, in London and married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on November 20, 1947. They had two children together.
Charles (born 1948) who became heir apparent to Elizabeth following his older sister Anne’s renunciation of succession rights; and Anne (born 1950), who renounced her succession rights upon marrying Timothy Laurence in 1992. Elizabeth is second only to Queen Victoria when it comes to length of reign among female monarchs in England; if she lives another five years, she will surpass Victoria’s record 63 years as queen regnant.
Does Britain need a regent if Queen Elizabeth is ill?
Elizabeth has been using a walking cane in October, prompting fresh concerns about her health. It is becoming more apparent that as Elizabeth ages, she will have to surrender some of her royal duties to her younger son, Prince Charles. There are some who believe that Britain may need a regent if Elizabeth is ill for an extended period of time. A modern regent would serve in place of either King George or Queen Anne depending on how long they were incapacitated for. The last regent appointed was Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert.
While he served as prince consort during his wife’s reign, he never became king when Queen Victoria ascended to power. This was because of his German ancestry and fear of another European war with Germany after World War I ended. If Elizabeth is unable to rule due to illness or death, it seems likely that Prince Charles would be appointed as regent until King George reaches adulthood at 18 years old in 2025.
They claim that by giving him limited powers now, he can become accustomed to ruling before ascending fully to the throne upon Elizabeth’s death. However, others note that naming a regent before Elizabeth dies could create unnecessary tension between mother and son.
Some also argue against appointing Prince Charles as regent since there is no guarantee he will still be alive by 2025. After all, herself is 91 years old and although she appears Grand Lake Mental Health today, everyone knows that nothing lasts forever. Still others say Prince William should be named regent instead of his father.
Many people don’t think Prince Charles is suited to lead Great Britain given his controversial views on climate change and other topics but most agree that Prince William will make a fine monarch someday. Of course, we won’t know what happens until Elizabeth passes away but many Britons remain hopeful that their country will continue its tradition of stable monarchy well into the future.