The Queen misses Synod for the first time ever as Prince Edward steps in for her—'none of us can slow the passage of time'

The Queen missed the high-profile Church of England service on Tuesday after spraining her back

The Queen misses Synod for the first time in 69 years as Prince Edward steps in for her—'none of us can slow the passage of time'
(Image credit: Photo by Steve Parsons - WPA Pool / Getty Images)

The Queen has missed her Synod appearance, after being advised by doctors to continue resting at home. 


The Queen has missed the Eleventh Inauguration of the General Synod after medical experts advised her against attending the service in person. 

Her Majesty was expected to deliver a speech at the Church of England's first national assembly in London on Tuesday but was forced to pull out last week due to her ongoing health issues. The cancellation marks the first time she failed to attend the annual event, which dates back to 1970, in her 69 year-long reign. 

Prince Edward, the youngest of the Queen's children, stepped up to make the address on her behalf. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex attends the annual Commonwealth Day service and reception during Commonwealth Day celebrations on March 13, 2017 in London, England. (Photo byLONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex attends the annual Commonwealth Day service and reception during Commonwealth Day celebrations on March 13, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

(Image credit: LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex attends the annual Commonwealth Day service and reception during Commonwealth Day celebrations on March 13, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images))

The notable absence of the 95-year-old monarch at the Synod comes just a few days after the Queen missed the Remembrance Sunday service because of a back strain. It comes as yet another worrying cancellation in the Queen's traditionally busy autumn calendar, sparking widespread concerns over her ability to continue her duties as Head of State. 

Her Majesty is currently resting at her Berkshire residence of Windsor Castle, where is understood to be taking 

Speaking to bishops and clergy at Church House, Prince Edward passed on his mother's "sincere and deep apologies" over being unable to attend the high-profile event. "I think you probably understand why, and she regrets that deeply," he added. 

Prince Edward then delivered Her Majesty's speech, which expressed gratitude for the Church of England's efforts to uplift its members throughout the pandemic. He also acknowledged the difficulties Covid-19 restrictions posed for Christians in "accessing the comfort and reassurance of public worship", calling the past few years "a time of anxiety, of grief, and of weariness." 

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at King's Lynn station, after taking the train from London King's Cross

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The Prince went on to hail the Gospel for inspiring "hope" during this hardship, before commending the Church for navigating these obstacles by adapting its ministry with "digital forms of worship." 

The Queen's speech also recognized the importance of "people of all faiths, and of none" to the "well-being of the nation". 

Perhaps the most poignant part of the speech was Her Majesty's comments on time. 

Prince Edward recited her that message that "none of us can slow the passage of time", but that solace can be derived from the consistency of the Christian doctrine.  "While we often focus on all that has changed in the intervening years, much remains unchanged, including the Gospel of Christ and his teachings," he read. 

Concerns for Her Majesty's health began to mount last month after she dropped out of a number of important appearances. The Queen pulled out of a royal trip to Northern Ireland on 'medical advice' in October, just a few days after she was photographed using a walking stick. She also cancelled her plans to travel up north to the COP26 climate summit in Scotland, as well as the Festival of Remembrance last week.