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The Queen won't attend COP26 after recent hospital stay

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Queen Elizabeth II will not be present at COP26 next week.
Queen Elizabeth II will not be present at COP26 next week.   -   Copyright  Reuters
By Marthe de Ferrer  with AP

Queen Elizabeth II will not be attending next week's COP26 summit in Glasgow.

The Queen was meant to be a guest at the UN climate conference, but after a recent hospital stay, it has been announced she will no longer attend.

Yesterday it was reported that the British monarch was still hoping to be present at the UN climate convention. However, Buckingham Palace now says that the Queen has "regretfully" decided not to attend.

In a statement, the palace says that the 95-year-old monarch has “regretfully decided that she will no longer travel to Glasgow to attend the reception on 1 November.

“Her Majesty is disappointed not to attend the reception but will deliver an address to the assembled delegates via a recorded video message,’’ the palace said.

Returning to work, but not Glasgow

The Queen held virtual audiences at Windsor Castle today, the first since revelations that her doctors ordered her to rest last week.

The British monarch spent a night at the King Edward VII hospital in Marylebone, London last Wednesday for “preliminary investigations.” She returned to her Windsor Castle home at lunchtime the next day.

Her son, Prince Charles, and grandson, Prince William, are both due to attend COP26 alongside other world leaders and major climate activists like Greta Thunberg.

Subject to his health, Pope Francis is also due to be at COP26.

Irritated by those who 'talk, but don't do'

Earlier this month, Queen Elizabeth II appeared to criticise the global lack of action on climate change in comments caught on microphone.

The 95-year-old British monarch was filmed on a phone as she visited Cardiff to open the Welsh parliament on Thursday.

At one point, speaking to her daughter-in-law Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and parliament presiding officer Elin Jones, she said “I’ve been hearing all about COP … I still don’t know who’s coming.”

On the recording, parts of which are inaudible, the queen also appears to say it is “irritating” when “they talk, but they don’t do.”

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, said the queen’s comments had not been intended for broadcast.

“I think comments made in private should stay private, but we all share the desire to see progress made and we know there will be hundreds of leaders coming to Glasgow for COP,” he told Sky News.

In Britain’s constitutional monarchy the queen is meant to be above politics, and she rarely expresses opinions in public.

Her son and heir, Prince Charles, though, has long been outspoken on environmental issues.

And Charles’ son Prince William has also taken up the cause, backing the Earthshot Prize for environmental innovation that will be awarded on Sunday.