UK monarch won’t visit U.N. climate conference in person

LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II has cancelled her planned engagement at the U.N. climate conference, accepting doctors’ advice to rest, Buckingham Palace said Tuesday.

The 95-year-old monarch has “regretfully’’ decided that she will no longer travel to Glasgow to attend the reception on Nov. 1 — a move that will dash the hopes of Britain’s Conservative government, which is anxious to show the importance of the session to the fate of the planet. The climate conference runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12 and her appearance was meant to kick it off in style and splendour.

“Her Majesty is disappointed not to attend the reception but will deliver an address to the assembled delegates via a recorded video message,’’ the palace said.

The news came after the sovereign held virtual audiences Tuesday at Windsor Castle — the first since revelations that her doctors ordered her to rest last week. The sovereign greeted the ambassador of the Republic of Korea during her first technology-aided appearance since she was driven to London’s King Edward VII’s Hospital on Oct. 20 for “preliminary investigations.” She returned to her Windsor Castle home at lunchtime the next day.

The queen underwent the medical tests after she canceled a scheduled trip to mark 100 years since the creation of Northern Ireland, and the palace said she had “reluctantly” accepted advice to rest for a few days. The matter was not related to COVID-19.

Her doctors ordered rest last week after a hectic few days in which a monarch who likes to be seen by the people carried out a hectic series of events. She held audiences with diplomats, had a reception at Windsor Castle for global business leaders and attended the horse races at Ascot.

Her hospital visit last week came amid general disquiet about Elizabeth’s health. Days earlier, she was seen using a walking stick at a Westminster Abbey service marking the centenary of the Royal British Legion, an armed forces charity. Though she had used a cane in 2003, it was after she underwent knee surgery.

The queen’s husband, Prince Philip, died in April 2021 at age 99. Though Elizabeth has enjoyed robust health throughout her life, she is Britain’s longest-lived and longest-reigning monarch. She is due to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee — 70 years on the throne — next year.

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