My life will always be dedicated to service, says Britain’s Queen Elizabeth

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II signs her annual Commonwealth Day Message at Windsor Castle
FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II signs her annual Commonwealth Day Message at St George’s Hall in Windsor Castle, Britain, in this image released March 5, 2021. Steve Parsons/Pool via REUTERS

March 14, 2022

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth said her life will always be dedicated to service in a message marking Commonwealth Day, after the 95-year-old monarch was forced to withdraw from Monday’s annual church service to mark the occasion.

Elizabeth, the world’s oldest and longest-reigning monarch, whose health is a growing concern, announced on Friday that she would miss the Commonwealth service at London’s Westminster Abbey, which royals have attended for almost 50 years.

Buckingham Palace said her son and heir Prince Charles would represent her instead. The decision was not related to an illness but to concerns about the inconvenience of traveling from their home in Windsor Castle in west London.

“In this year of my Platinum Jubilee, it has brought me joy to renew the promise I made in 1947 that my life will always be dedicated to service,” she said in a message to the Commonwealth, an organization of primarily 54 former nations British colonies which she directs.

The Queen, whose husband Prince Philip died last April at the age of 99, spent a night in hospital last October and has since been mostly confined to practically going about her duties after being advised by her doctors to rest.

Last month she tested positive for COVID-19 and suffered from mild cold-like symptoms, but was well enough to meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week.

Shortly after she celebrated the 70th anniversary of her appointment as queen in February, a royal source said she intends to return to her normal duties and although she withdrew from duty on Monday, the palace said she will have more this week make personal commitments.

The Commonwealth has always been close to Elizabeth’s heart, and historians say its successful emergence from the British Empire is one of the greatest achievements of her reign.

“Today it is rewarding to observe a modern, vibrant and interconnected Commonwealth that combines a wealth of history and tradition with the great social, cultural and technological advances of our time,” she said in her message.

“The fact that the Commonwealth is growing is a credit to all concerned.”

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Kate Holton) My life will always be dedicated to service, says Britain’s Queen Elizabeth

Bobby Allyn

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