Well, this is unexpected! Queen Elizabeth has asked her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, to lay a wreath on her behalf at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day on Sunday, Nov. 12. She will instead watch the proceedings from the balcony of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office building alongside her husband, Prince Philip, who will break his retirement for the important British event honoring veterans and the fallen. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said, "The Queen wishes to be alongside the Duke of Edinburgh and he will be in the balcony."
It’s only the sixth time the monarch has missed laying the wreath herself. Twice she was pregnant and the other times she was away on an official royal tour — including a 1961 trip to Ghana, a 1968 visit to Brazil, and in 1999 when she was in South Africa. Charles, 68, has undertaken the role once before when the beloved royal was on tour in Kenya. However, this will be the first time the prince will lay the wreath watched by his mother.
Queen Elizabeth at a past Remembrance Day ceremony. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The break in tradition represents a significant shift for the royal family — namely, senior royals are carrying out more and more engagements on behalf of the Queen and her recently retired husband, Philip. Prince William, 35, increased his workload and became a full-time royal this year after finishing out his stint as an air ambulance pilot. Writing an op-ed for the Eastern Daily Press, William said he was “hugely grateful” for his time spent in the emergency services.
"Over the past two years I have met people from across the region who were in the most desperate of circumstances," William wrote. "As part of a team, I have been invited into people's homes to share moments of extreme emotion, from relief that we have given someone a fighting chance, to profound grief. I have watched as incredibly skilled doctors and paramedics have saved people's lives.”
An insider speaking to The Sunday Times explained that the young royal had "no pressure from above" to quit his job, but simply understands that the older he gets the more responsibility he has to the monarchy. Wills still won't be taking on as many commitments as many other senior royals including his father, Charles, and his aunt, Princess Anne.
"Some people may question why William still won’t do as much as Princess Anne but he is dead set on not queering his father’s pitch," the source revealed. "He sees that Charles will probably be in his 70s before he becomes king and he doesn’t want to be seen as elbowing his father out the way." This means the doting, hands-on father will be around to raise his two children — Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2 — and another on the way!
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This post was written by Candice Mehta-Culjak. It originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.