Even though Queen Elizabeth's health may be suffering, one thing is clear: she is not stepping down from the throne any time soon.
"The sense I get from everyone I speak to is that the Queen remains totally in control of her faculties and of everything at the palace," historian Robert Lacey told PEOPLE. "The problem is physical mobility — and that is not a constitutional or regency issue. She is in charge."
On Monday, May 9, the palace revealed that the monarch, 96, would not be attending an important event — the third time since she's been Queen.
“The Queen continues to experience episodic mobility problems, and in consultation with her doctors has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow,” a statement from Buckingham Palace read. “At Her Majesty’s request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, The Prince of Wales will read The Queen’s speech on Her Majesty’s behalf, with The Duke of Cambridge also in attendance.”
"She's clearly thinking of the future and this can be seen alongside the moment she said it was her wish that Camilla be known as Queen Consort, which was another important development this year," the biographer noted. "Asking her son Charles and William to attend is clearly about succession, about emphasizing a partnership and teamwork."
"Charles is deputizing for the Queen, as he has done before — and as William and Kate have also started to do in some of the duties they've been doing," Lacey added.
As of late, the Queen has been dealing with a slew of health issues — from having a bad back to contracting COVID-19. Now, it seems like she may opt out of future events, depending on how she is feeling.
"The assumption must now be that the Queen will not be present at events," an insider told The Mail on Sunday. "If Her Majesty does attend, it will be decided on the day and she will be accompanied by another member of the royal family."