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Queen Elizabeth II to skip Highland Games event in Scotland

FILE - Queen Elizabeth II stands on the balcony during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant at the Buckingham Palace in London, Sunday, June 5, 2022, on the last of four days of celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee. Queen Elizabeth II will skip the Braemar Gathering, a popular Highland Games event, as she struggles with issues getting around. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool, File)

Queen Elizabeth II will skip the Braemar Gathering, a popular Highland Games event, as she struggles with issues getting around.

The 96-year-old monarch previously decided to formally appoint Britain’s new prime minister on Tuesday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where she is vacationing, rather than return to London for the traditional ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Her eldest son and heir Prince Charles, who normally accompanies the monarch to the gathering, will attend. British media reported Friday that the decision was made for the comfort of the monarch, who has struggled with what the palace describes as “mobility issues’’ since last year.

Elizabeth has spent much of the past two years at Windsor Castle, west of London, where she took refuge during the pandemic. She has kept working throughout this period, although most of her tasks have been carried out virtually, including meetings with ambassadors, health workers and schoolchildren.

The news comes just two days after fans of the late Princess Diana placed tributes outside the gates of her Kensington Palace, as Wednesday marked the 25th anniversary of her death in a Paris car accident.

An arrangement of white chrysanthemums spelling out "Princess Diana" sat among dozens of photos and messages left by admirers, some of whom said they make annual pilgrimages to the spot to remember the tragedy.

We just come here, do the memorial and, you know, we just chat about things that she used to do, you know, to let people know that we will never forget the princess, we will never forget what she's done,'' said Julie Cain, 59, who traveled 300 miles (480 kilometers) from Newcastle in northern England. "We just want her legacy kept, like, going as long as possible."

Diana died on Aug. 31, 1997, at the age of 36, stunning people around the world who felt they knew the princess after seeing her successes and struggles play out on TV screens and newspaper front pages for 17 years. The tributes left outside Kensington Palace on Wednesday were a small reminder of the mountains of flowers piled there in the days after Diana's death.


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