Queen Elizabeth II has shared a powerful message reflecting on the "passage of time" as she prepares for a day of mourning on the anniversary of her wedding to her late husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
The 95 year old monarch's son Prince Edward, 57, did his duty to read his mother's words as she is still recovering from a "sprained back" and was unable to appear in person at Church House, Westminster, which is the home of the headquarters of the Church of England.
The Queen was unfortunately unable to attend the Remembrance Sunday event due to her injury on Sunday 14 November.
It comes as the Queen was also forced to cancel her attendance at the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow a few weeks ago, after an overnight stay in hospital for tests.
The Queen addressed the opening session of the 11th General Synod of the Church of England via her youngest son the Earl of Wessex.
"It is hard to believe that it is over 50 years since Prince Philip and I attended the very first meeting of the General Synod," the monarch began. "None of us can slow the passage of time.
"And while we often focus on all that has changed in the intervening years, much remains unchanged, including the Gospel of Christ and his teachings."
This weekend the Queen will be marking her wedding anniversary to Prince Phillip 74 years after their nuptials took place on November 20, 1947.
She is expected to "seek comfort" from Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.
The late Duke died aged 99 in April just a couple of months before he was due to celebrate his 100th birthday.
His funeral took place at Windsor Castle with a poignant procession around the grounds that saw his sons, daughter and grandsons Prince William and Harry marching all the way.
Prince Edward went on to say the Queen "deeply regrets" not being able to attend the event at Church House, the Westminster Headquarters of the Church of England, in person.
He read the speech to a congregation of bishops and members of the clergy.
It was the first time the Queen had had to miss her visit to the Synod, which takes place every five years, in 51 years.
Prince Edward added that his mother sent her "sincere and deep apologies that she cannot be here today".
"I think you probably understand why, and she regrets that deeply," the Earl added.
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