Queen Elizabeth news: Monarch VOWS her life 'is ALWAYS devoted to service' as she hopes to attend Prince Philip memorial

THE Queen was absent from yesterday's Commonwealth Day service – but vowed to stick to the promises she made when she took the throne.

Her Majesty said her life would "always be devoted to service" in a message to mark Commonwealth Day, after she was forced to pull out of Monday's annual church service to mark the occasion.

In her annual message, the monarch promised: "In this year of my Platinum Jubilee, it has given me pleasure to renew the promise I made in 1947, that my life will always be devoted in service."

The decision to not attend was not related to any illness but due to concerns over the discomfort of travelling from Windsor Castle to west London, said Buckingham Palace yesterday.

Meanwhile, palace officials are drawing up detailed plans to find a way for the Queen to comfortably attend Philip's service, the Mail on Sunday reported. 

The thanksgiving service for the late Duke of Edinburgh at the end of this month had already been cut to 50 minutes. 

A side door may also be deployed to save Her Majesty from walking too much if she can attend. 

Read our Royal Family live blog below for the latest updates…

  • Joseph Gamp

    Prince Harry drops major hint into Netflix deal

    Following Prince Harry’s surprise appearance at a Texas rodeo last weekend, it has sparked questions over whether he is filming a special for Netflix.

    Prince Harry was spotted at the Stockyards Championship Rodeo event on March 5 dressed in a cowboy hat. He spoke with locals at the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas, where the event was held.

    The Daily Mail’s Diary Editor Richard Eden claims the appearance could be part of a Netflix special.

    Speaking to Palace Confidential on Mailplus, Mr Eden said: “I smell a rat.

    “It must be for some TV show for Netflix something like, ‘Harry meets America’ or something cringe-making.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Palace aides urge Queen to 'pace herself'

    Palace aides will urge the Queen to “pace herself” so she can make Prince Philip’s memorial in two weeks.

    Her Majesty, 95, was pulled from today’s Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey following discussions.

    There were worries about her “comfort” on the 30-mile Windsor to London drive and in the hour-long ceremony.

    Prince Charles will stand in.

    She would face the same trip for the Duke of Edinburgh’s service of thanksgiving on March 29.

    An insider said: “You can’t say she will definitely be at the service but there’s an element of pacing herself to make it happen.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Harry 'is behaving like a child stamping his feet' says royal author

    The Queen got just 15 minutes' notice of Harry's announcement that he was refusing to attend his grandfather's memorial service. The petulant Duke of Sussex was last night likened to a "child stamping his feet" after claiming he would be "unsafe".

    Senior aides revealed that Her Majesty was informed of his snub a quarter of an hour before his statement about Prince Philip's service was issued.

    It read: "The Duke will not be returning to the UK in late March, but hopes to visit his grandmother as soon as possible."

    The decision comes amid a High Court row over Harry's personal security.

    Experts say he would have got adequate protection at the March 29 event in Westminster Abbey and when he stayed in Windsor.

    Angela Levin, Harry's biographer, said: "He has snubbed the Duke of Edinburgh but really he is snubbing the Queen." She said his grandmother is still "grieving the loss of her husband of 73 years" — and his no-show was a form of "blackmail" to get his own way. She went on: "He has got this all wrong. If he comes over for a royal event he gets police protection. What they won't do is, if he goes out with his friends he gets security. He'll probably use this same excuse to try to get out of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

    "It's all about 'me, me, me' rather than going out of his way for his grandmother and showing her he cares. He's behaving like a child stamping his feet."

  • Joseph Gamp

    Meghan’s father wants day in court with Meghan and her ‘ginger husband’ Harry

    The Duchess of Sussex’s father Thomas Markle said he is hoping to face Meghan and her “ginger husband” in court as part of the defamation case being brought by the duchess’s half sister.

    Mr Markle has sided with his older daughter Samantha Markle and said he would be “thrilled” to be able to defend her.

    She is alleging in court documents that Meghan made “false and malicious lies” about her during the Sussexes’ Oprah Winfrey interview and in the Finding Freedom biography.

    Ms Markle said this subjected her to “humiliation, shame and hatred on a worldwide scale”.

    Meghan’s father, in his new YouTube channel in collaboration with Karl Larsen – the first photographer to find and photograph him – said: “I’ve been trying for almost four years to get to see my daughter and her ginger husband in a courtroom face to face.

    “I haven’t seen my grandchildren. I’d be thrilled to come to court and talk and defend my oldest daughter.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    What is the Queen's Commonwealth Essay competition?

    The essay competition is the world's oldest and largest schools international writing contest.

    It was founded in 1883 to promote literacy, expression & creativity among young people throughout the Commonwealth.

    There are two age categories: 13 years and under, and 14-18 years.

    More information can be found at www.royalcwsociety.org/essay-competition

  • Joseph Gamp

    Queen's life of service to inspire young writers in Commonwealth Essay Competition

    The Queen's "inspiring" 70 years of service is the focus for this year's Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition.

    Former Spice Girl Geri Horner, children's author David Walliams and the Duchess of Cornwall have recorded a video message to launch the writing challenge.

    Horner, a Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) ambassador, said: "The Queen's seven decades of service are an inspiring example of the contribution we can all make in our communities."

    Walliams added the theme was "'Our Commonwealth', focusing on service following the Queen's example."

    Camilla, RCS vice-patron, said she was delighted to unveil the 2022 competition, adding: "Your powerful stories, essays, poetry, and letters from around the Commonwealth never fail to bring us together as a community."

    Last year's junior winner, Ethan-Charles Mufuma, from Uganda, invited young people to "write about the value of serving our communities", wherever they are in the Commonwealth.

    The Queen, who is also head of the Commonwealth, reached her Platinum Jubilee in February, becoming the first British sovereign to mark 70 years on the throne.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Kate will ‘not forget’

    KATE Middleton will ‘not forget’ the way Meghan Markle previously treated her ahead of what could be an ‘awkward’ reunion at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

    Prince Harry and Meghan could come to the UK in the summer to take part in celebrations for the anticipated event.

    However, a happy family reunion may not be on the cards as royal author and editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, Ingrid Seward, says the Duchess of Cambridge may never forget how she was treated by Meghan.

    This is about the bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview in which Meghan claimed the Duchess made her cry.

    Ms Seward told the Mirror: “The Duchess of Cambridge will be cordial to Meghan. She has to – that is part of her job. Her private feelings have to remain just that. Kate will not forget however how Meghan treated her.

    “But she knows there is no point in prolonging a feud that has the opportunity of being repaired.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Queen meets diplomats on-screen at Windsor Castle

    The Queen has carried out virtual audiences at Windsor – the day after missing the Commonwealth Day service.

    The head of state, in a blue and grey patterned silk day dress, received the ambassadors of Mongolia and Tajikistan via video-link at her Berkshire royal residence on Tuesday.

    Mongolian ambassador Enkhsukh Battumur, in traditional dress, presented his letters of credence as he spoke to the monarch online.

    The Queen, 95, also greeted Rukhshona Emomali, the republic of Tajikistan's diplomat.

    On Monday the Prince of Wales represented his mother in Westminster Abbey for the annual celebration of the Commonwealth.

    The Queen, who has just recovered from Covid, pulled out of attending the high-profile event – due to her comfort rather than a specific illness.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Kate Middleton & Prince William's secret code names

    KATE Middleton is one of the most famous women in the world, so it is understandable that she may wish for some privacy at times.

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are said to have secret code names that they use during trips or their personal time.

    According to the Express, Kate is known as Daphne Clark when she goes away, and William goes by the alias of Danny Collins.

    Both have the initials DC, similar to their Duke and Duchess of Cambridge titles.

    And it’s not the only name Kate reportedly uses when she wants to be low-key.

    The Mirror claimed that the royal mum-of-three accidentally let slip one of her monikers during a shopping trip in Wales in 2010.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Thomas Markle wants day in court with Duchess and 'her ginger husband'

    The Duchess of Sussex's father Thomas Markle said he is hoping to face Meghan and her "ginger husband" in court as part of the defamation case being brought by the duchess's half sister.

    Mr Markle has sided with his older daughter Samantha Markle and said he would be "thrilled" to be able to defend her.

    She is alleging in court documents that Meghan made "false and malicious lies" about her during the Sussexes' Oprah Winfrey interview and in the Finding Freedom biography.

    Ms Markle said this subjected her to "humiliation, shame and hatred on a worldwide scale".

    Meghan's father, in his new YouTube channel in collaboration with Karl Larsen – the first photographer to find and photograph him – said: "I've been trying for almost four years to get to see my daughter and her ginger husband in a courtroom face to face.

    "I haven't seen my grandchildren. I'd be thrilled to come to court and talk and defend my oldest daughter."

  • Louis Allwood

    'He’s still at risk'

    According to protector of the Royal family, Harry's requests for protection for his family makes sense.

    Alex Bomberg, CEO of Intelligent Protection International Limited, who is famous for providing Close Protection services to Royal Families, said to LBC it's all being looked at incorrectly as Prince Harry is still a prince.

    Bomberg said: "[Harry] is a royal prince of Great Britain. He is Prince Harry.

    “He is still a prince of Great Britain. The fact that he’s stepped back from royal duties is besides the point — he’s still at risk."

  • Louis Allwood

    Will and Kate's solidarity with Ukraine

    PRINCE William and Kate Middleton showed solidarity to Ukraine once again as they dressed in blue at the Commonwealth ceremony.

    Kate, 40, stunned in a royal blue outfit which she paired with a matching hat and accessories, whilst William wore a navy suit with a blue tie.

    William and Kate previously said they stand with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and "all of the nation's people" during Russia's invasion.

    Kate and Wills joined Charles and Camilla at the service with the Queen's cousin Princess Alexandra.

  • Louis Allwood

    'If that happens again, you draw your own box'

    He stated the birth certificate gave options only for 'Black' or 'White', but not 'mixed.

    Markle said in his podcast that he hosts with long-time friend, Karl Larsen: "He wanted to mark down Black. In my mind it should have been marked 'Mixed'.

    He went on to confirm a piece she wrote in an essay for Elle UK in 2016. In the essay Meghan talks about a census report she had to fill in in the seventh grade (12-13 year-olds) that included ethnicity.

    She wrote: "You could only choose one, but that would be to choose one parent over the other — and one half of myself over the other […] I didn't tick a box.

    "I left my identity blank — a question mark, an absolute incomplete — much like how I felt. When I went home that night, I told my dad what had happened. He said the words that have always stayed with me: 'If that happens again, you draw your own box."

  • Louis Allwood

    I don’t often feel sorry for Meghan Markle but now her two biggest trolls are family members I feel different

    This is a comment piece by Clemmie Moodie

    IT’S really not often I have sympathy for the Duchess of Sussex.

    But it turns out her two biggest trolls are family.

    Within hours of it emerging her half-sister Samantha has been using various Twitter accounts to target the former actress, Meghan’s dad launches a YouTube channel designed, it would appear, solely to slag off/cash in on his daughter.

    Samantha, meanwhile, is also suing Meghan, claiming it was defamatory to imply during her Oprah interview last year that the pair were “virtual strangers”.

    With toxic “loved ones” like this, is it any wonder Meghan loves a lawyer so much?

  • Louis Allwood

    Ex-Lib Dem MP calls for Royal Family to be 'slimmed down'

    Norman Baker, the Ex-Home Office Minister, who represented voters from Lewes in the Commons between 1997 and 2015, suggested the Firm needed to be cut down

    He joined Sky News' Trevor Phillips for the channel's 'Great Debate' programme.

    Mr Baker said: "I think it's important for the monarchy not to assume that the goodwill which exists undoubtedly for the Queen will necessarily transfer to Prince Charles or other members of the Royal Family.

    "They have to earn that in the same way that the Queen has earned it.

    "There is a certain concern I have that there is a resting on laurels going on.

    "Prince Charles does say he wants to slim down the Royal Family and he needs to do that because the Royal Family is very bloated.

    "On the front cover of my book there are 44 on the balcony.

    "Who are these people and why are we paying for them?"

  • Louis Allwood

    How did the Royal Family mark Commonwealth day?

    Many senior members of the royal family stepped up yesterday and attended the Commonwealth ceremony after it was revealed that the Queen would not be attending.

    Prince Charles and Camilla, as well as Kate and Will appeared at the event whilst the Queen released a statement.

    Kate, 40, stunned in a royal blue outfit which she paired with a matching hat and accessories.

    The Duchess of Cornwall worse a deep purple outfit, with matching hat, as she and the Prince of Wales arrived at Westminster Abbey.

  • Louis Allwood

    Meghna's lawyers 'will be monitoring' her fathers YouTube

    MEGHAN Markle's lawyers 'will be monitoring' her father Thomas' new YouTube channel after he slammed his daughter and "her ginger husband" Prince Harry on his new YouTube channel.

    Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams suggested the Sussexes will view Mr Markle's latest move with 'disdain'.

    But they will also keep tabs on his activity and monitor what is said.

    Richard Fitzwilliams told the MailOnline: "Meghan's family have been extremely hostile to her and Remarkable Friendship, the name of this new channel, sounds extremely amateurish, but the Sussexes' lawyers will no doubt keep an eye on its contents."

    He added: "Future episodes seem unlikely to attract any interest at all, unless they feature personal attacks on Meghan."

  • Louis Allwood

    Queen "still hopes" to attend Prince Philip's memorial

    THE QUEEN has "ruled out using a wheelchair" & "still hopes" to attend Prince Philip's memorial – but aides are keeping her diary under review.

    It comes after Buckingham Palace announced she was not fit enough to attend the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey.

    Palace staff feared how “comfortable” she would be travelling to London from Windsor then spending up to an hour at the event.

    Sources stress that the 95-year-old monarch is not ill and is "as committed to her duties of state as ever".

    But senior royal aides are believed to have accepted how old age has caught up with Her Majesty.

    According to the Daily Mail, a source said: "The Queen is still as alert, able and interested as ever but, physically, she isn't as strong as she once was, which is entirely understandable for a woman of her age."

    They continued: "The Royal Family understands the important role investitures play in recognising service and celebrating people's contribution to society and there has been a real drive to catch up on the backlog created by Covid restrictions.

    "The Prince of Wales, Princess Royal and Duke of Cambridge have been leading the charge. It's easy to envisage that they will continue in that vein but I wouldn't rule out Her Majesty doing smaller or one-off investitures."

    The Queen has also not been able to walk her beloved corgis due to her frailty. She has been unable to take them out at Windsor Castle for six months and it is feared she may never again.

    Prince Philip's memorial service will take place at Westminster Abbey on March 29.

  • Louis Allwood

    Good morning

    Good morning, Louis Allwood here signing in to our live, real-time coverage of the Royal Family.

  • Louis Allwood

    Prince Harry’s ‘unfortunate remark’

    Prince Harry made an ‘unfortunate remark’ that went down ‘like a lead balloon’ with Meghan Markle’s family.

    Speaking on the 2022 Channel 5 documentary, ‘Harry and Meghan Vs The Monarchy’, royal commentator Jennie Bond said: “Harry was guest editing the Today programme on Radio 4 shortly afterwards and he said he’d had a lot of fun at Christmas.

    “And then he made a rather unfortunate remark, he said: ‘I suppose it’s the family she never had’, meaning Meghan.

    “Well, that went down like a lead balloon with the Markle family, obviously. And it’s a remark they’ve never forgotten.”

  • Louis Allwood

    Prince Charles’ ‘joke’ nickname for Camilla

    Prince Charles “jokingly called” Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, his ‘Girl Friday’, according to a royal biographer.

    Vanity Fair contributing editor and historian Sally Bedell Smith spoke to the Royally Obsessed podcast about the Prince of Wales’ relationship with his wife. 

    Ms Bedell Smith said: “It was a very simple bracelet, a little gold bracelet, with a blue disk on it.

    “It just said ‘GF’ and ‘GF’ meant ‘Girl Friday’. That’s what he jokingly called her. It just meant that she was sort of his companion, his helper.”

    She continued: “It could have meant that she was his Friday girl too. But ‘Girl Friday’ usually refers to someone who’s a sort of Jill of all trades.

    “She could help him out with things, and she was sort of reliable. Camilla would definitely fit that bill.”

    The ‘GF’ on the bracelet however was originally thought to represent ‘Gladys and Fred’ – the nicknames Charles and Camilla used for each other when they started dating in their 20s.

  • Louis Allwood

    Royal Family latest news

    • The Queen has issued her Commonwealth statement after she was not able to attend the service.
    • Rebel Wilson aims dig at Meghan Markle in brutal Baftas speech.
    • Meghan Markle’s dad has slammed his daughter and “her ginger husband” Prince Harry on his new YouTube channel.
    • The debate over Harry and Andrew’s position as counsellors was reignited after Buckingham Palace announced senior royals future plans.

    Royal attendees

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the event this afternoon, along with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

    Kate, 40, stunned in a royal blue outfit which she paired with a matching hat and accessories.

    The Duchess of Cornwall worse a deep purple outdit, with matching hat, as she and the Prince of Wales arrived at Wesminster Abbey.

    Rebel Wilson aims dig at Meghan Markle in brutal Baftas speech

    The Australian movie actress, 43, aimed a dig at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

    She said: “Our next package is for Outstanding British Film. From drama to horror, to fantasy… Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah had it all.”

    She also referenced Prince Andrew‘s claim he had visited a Woking branch of Pizza Express.

    The star said: “I was going to do a musical number. It was about Prince Andrew. It was on roller skates.

    “It was called Pizza Express. But don’t worry I’m not going to do it, I’m saving my voice for the sequel to Cats.”

    The Queen’s annual message for the Commonwealth service

    In the event’s programme, she wrote: “In this year of my Platinum Jubilee, it has given me pleasure to renew the promise I made in 1947, that my life will always be devoted in service.

    “Today, it is rewarding to observe a modern, vibrant and connected Commonwealth that combines a wealth of history and tradition with the great social, cultural and technological advances of our time.

    “That the Commonwealth stands ever taller is a credit to all who have been involved.

    “We are nourished and sustained by our relationships and, throughout my life, I have enjoyed the privilege of hearing what the relationships built across the great reach and diversity of the Commonwealth have meant to people and communities.  

    “Our family of nations continues to be a point of connection, cooperation and friendship. 

    “It is a place to come together to pursue common goals and the common good, providing everyone with the opportunity to serve and benefit.

    “In these testing times, it is my hope that you can draw strength and inspiration from what we share, as we work together towards a healthy, sustainable and prosperous future for all.

    “And on this special day for our family – in a year that will include the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the Commonwealth Games – I hope we can deepen our resolve to support and serve one another, and endeavour to ensure the Commonwealth remains an influential force for good in our world for many generations to come.”

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