Britain's Queen Elizabeth departs the service of Thanksgiving for the life of her husband, Prince Philip, the duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London on March 29. The couple were married there in 1947. Andrew died in April 2021. Photo by Neil Hall/EPA-EFE
May 5 (UPI) -- Queen Elizabeth II, who celebrated her 96th birthday in April, will not participate in this year's royal garden party events due to mobility challenges, Buckingham Palace said Thursday.
The mobility issues have hindered the longest-reigning British monarch from appearing at several recent events, but she's participated in certain visual engagements and carried out other royal duties.
The garden parties are a royal social event held each year. Three are scheduled for Buckingham Palace this month -- on May 11, May 18 and May 25. Another is scheduled for Holyroodhouse, the queen's official residence in Edinburgh, Scotland, on June 29.
"Her Majesty The Queen will be represented by other members of the royal family at this year's garden parties, with details on attendance to be confirmed in due course," Buckingham Palace said, according to Sky News.
Held annually in late spring and early summer at Buckingham Palace and Holyroodhouse, the parties typically include about 30,000 guests and the event is a way of recognizing and rewarding public service. They were put on hold for the past two years.
This year's events will also celebrate the queen's Platinum Jubilee, which celebrates her 70th year on the British throne. More jubilee events are scheduled this year, including a four-day bank holiday in June.
In addition to her mobility issues, Queen Elizabeth II also tested positive for COVID-19 in February.