Queen’s desperation to avoid ‘being seen in wheelchair’ at Prince Philip’s memorial service revealed

The Queen's staff is reportedly on a mission to protect the monarch's privacy at the Duke of Edinburgh's Service of Thanksgiving next week

Queen's desperation to block wheelchair photos revealed
(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen will use a large-scale plan to avoid being seen in a wheelchair at Prince Philip's memorial service later this month, according to royal insiders.

The Queen will 'concede' to using a wheelchair at Prince Philip's memorial service on 29 March if she can maintain her privacy whilst doing so, a royal source has revealed. 

Her Majesty is reportedly determined to attend the Service of Thanksgiving for her late husband, Duke of Edinburgh, next Tuesday, after suffering a string of health woes over the past several months. 

The invite-only event will take place at Westminster Abbey in London, a 1.5-hour drive from the monarch's new permanent address at Windsor Castle, and is expected to last approximately one hour. Its guest list has not been revealed, but it's rumored that a party of European royals—including King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain—will fly over for the solemn occasion. 


Queen attends Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey in October 2021 

(Image credit: Getty)

Several senior members of the British Royal Family, including Prince Charles, Duchess Camilla, Prince William, and Kate Middleton, will also join, while Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been confirmed as no-shows. 

It's understood that royal staffers are now planning a large-scale operation to ensure that the 95-year-old—who celebrated her Platinum Jubilee 2022 in February—will be able to join the service without being photographed in a wheelchair.

The news comes after it was revealed that the Queen has had a wheelchair-friendly lift fitted at Balmoral Cottage, shortly after quitting Buckingham Palace for good. 

"Understandably, the Queen doesn’t want to be seen in a wheelchair," Ingrid Seward editor of Majesty magazine, told the Sun.

“But as the Head of State and someone who wants to be seen and needs to be seen, she might concede to a wheelchair. The best way of doing that is to make sure there are no photographs taken."

Queen's back sprain

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo / Contributor / Getty Images)

'Six-foot privacy screens' and a 'football-style tunnel' are now being considered to prevent the media from snapping shots of the royal matriarch entering and leaving the church. It's also been speculated that she will travel to Buckingham Palace via a helicopter, which would shorten the journey to just 15 minutes. Staff would then blockade Dean's Yard and drive Her Majesty to the Abbey to guarantee complete privacy. 

Alternatively, the Queen may also arrive at the church first and be seated before the other guests arrive—a practice that would break the royal protocol of the monarch arriving last. 

"She would really hate to miss it," Seward added. "It is a headache for her staff as it would be difficult for anyone of her age who suffers mobility problems. It would be a painful process for her.”

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.