The Queen Pulls Out of an Annual Engagement Last Minute Due to Illness

The Queen canceled on her annual appearance at the Sandringham branch of Women's Institute with just 30 minutes notice due to a cold.

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(Image credit: Samir Hussein)
  • In a rare move, the Queen canceled on a scheduled appearance this week with just 30 minutes notice.
  • At the time, the Queen reportedly told organizers that she didn't feel up to attending the event—her annual visit to the Norfolk branch of the Women's Institute near her estate in Sandringham.
  • Buckingham Palace spokesperson confirmed that the Queen pulled out due to illness, but insisted that she was only suffering from "a slight cold."

The Queen had to pull out of one of her annual engagements this week due to illness.

Don't worry though: A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace told the Daily Mail that the monarch's health issue was just "a slight cold." A royal insider also chimed in, adding that the cancelation was "no cause for alarm."

Cause for alarm or not, the incident was definitely atypical for Queen Elizabeth, who canceled the planned appearance Thursday with just 30 minutes noticed. The engagement in question was her annual visit to the Norfolk branch of the Women's Institute near her estate in Sandringham. When she pulled out, the official reason given was simple and universally relatable: That she was "not feeling up to it."

The Queen Attends Church At Hillington In Sandringham

The Queen, stepping out in Sandringham for church days before she canceled engagement with the Norfolk branch of the Women’s Institute.

(Image credit: Karwai Tang)

That's a totally fair stance for anyone to take, but especially for a 93-year-old who makes literally hundreds of public appearances every single year. Add to the Queen's busy diary that she's also been dealing with several recent high profile issues for the royal family, including her son, Prince Andrew's, much-criticized televised interview about Jeffrey Epstein and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to step back from their work as senior members of the royal family.

Canceling on the event couldn't have been an easy decision for the Queen, who attends the meeting every year at West Newton village hall as part of her winter stay at Sandringham. During the meeting, she "joins the WI ladies for tea and cake, then listens to a speech, which was made this year by BBC newsreader Huw Edwards," the Daily Mail reports.

Here's hoping that the Queen gets the rest she needs and is back to feeling 100 percent very soon.

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Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.