Queen, 95, urged to step back from royal duties & rest for a week after cancelling Northern Ireland trip at last minute

THE Queen sparked health fears by cancelling her first royal duties in 15 years yesterday.

Her Maj, 95 — due to visit Northern Ireland — has been told by docs to rest for up to a week instead.

She will also cut back on her winter commitments.

As part of a two-day working trip she had been due to grant royal status on Hillsborough Castle near Belfast.

It is the first time the Queen has pulled out of a royal engagement for 15 years.

Sources say she had not gone to hospital or cancelled because of any ailment or illness.

But with her knee proving painful, doctors told her to stay at home after she stood for more than an hour at an event at Windsor Castle on Tuesday.

She, Charles and William have taken on more engagements since Harry, Meghan and Andrew stepped down from royal duty.

The Sun understands the Queen is committed to working as much as possible and was determined to walk her dogs at the Castle yesterday afternoon.

Royal expert Penny Junor said: “It’s not surprising that she’s been told to put her feet up. She has been working extremely hard. She was on sparkling form at the Castle but we do need to protect her. Doctors have said enough is enough and are right to err on the side of caution.”

Sun royal photographer Arthur Edwards, 81, added: “I know she will not quit. My advice Ma’am is to pace yourself. I have to!”

A statement confirming her absence was issued at 11am yesterday, before she was due at Hillsborough Castle at 4pm. Many of her staff had already travelled to Northern Ireland.

A Palace spokesman said yesterday: “The Queen has reluctantly accepted medical advice to rest for the next few days.

“She is in good spirits and is disappointed that she will no longer be able to visit.

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

Her Majesty — who recently decided to cut out alcohol after advice from doctors — had a knee op in 2003.

She has recently been suffering from pain and has been seen with a walking stick.

The Queen has really stepped up recently but she is 95 and doctors are right to ask her to slow down.

On Tuesday night at the Global Investment Summit at Windsor she was on her feet to greet guests including Boris Johnson, Bill Gates and Newcastle United’s new Saudi chairman Yasir bin Othman Al-Rumayyan.

Since summer at Balmoral, the Queen has had 14 engagements over the past three weeks — often with her stick. She used it at Westminster Abbey and Cardiff last week but discarded it at Tuesday’s Castle summit.

The last time she withdrew from a Royal engagement at short notice was from a visit to Arsenal FC in 2006 when she was replaced by Prince Philip.

At Christmas 2016 a bad cold forced her to cancel a church service at Sandringham, Norfolk. Today she was due to attend a ceremony in Armagh marking 100 years of Northern Ireland.

It would have been the first visit to the country in five years.

There is now nothing official in her diary until the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow on November 1.

Insiders say she may video call with ambassadors.

Ingrid Seward, of Majesty Magazine, added: “The Queen has really stepped up recently but she is 95 and doctors are right to ask her to slow down.”

‘Travelling long distances by plane can also make you prone to clots in the lungs and legs’

By Doctor Raghib Ali at Oxford University Hospitals trust

THE Queen is extraordinary. No one her age has a job quite like that.

If an elderly person spends a lot of time walking or standing it puts extra pressure on the body.

This can weaken muscles and lead to falls and broken bones.

Travelling long distances by plane can also make you prone to clots in the lungs and legs.

Circulation weakens with age, the legs can also swell up and cause discomfort. The Queen will also be extremely vulnerable to Covid, colds and the flu.

I’m sure she won’t be happy about cancelling because she relishes her duty so much but the obvious clinical advice is to take it easy during winter.

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