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These Recent Royal Appearances Suggest the Family Is Preparing to Fully Take Over the Queen’s Duties

The sight of Kate Middleton, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall on the balcony together last Sunday without Queen Elizabeth is signaling that they are adjusting to a new normal. With Prince Philip gone and the Queen scaling back her royal duties amid her health woes, it’s a sign that the next generation is slowly, but surely, taking over.

Remembrance Sunday services are always one of the most important engagements on her royal calendar each year — and a day she cares about deeply. The fact that Kate stood in her place was significant for the entire family. “It is obviously incredibly unfortunate timing, and nobody regrets the Queen’s absence today more deeply than Her Majesty herself,” a royal source explained to The Times. “Her Majesty is deeply disappointed to miss the engagement which she regards as one of the most significant engagements of the year. She hopes to continue as planned with her schedule of light official duties next week.”

While the palace is blaming a sprained back for her absence — and understandable since the engagement would require a long car ride and standing for a period of time — it comes on the heels of her recent undisclosed illness and cutback of her daily drink. “The alcohol has gone, her doctors want to make sure she is as fit and healthy as possible,” a source told Vanity Fair earlier this fall. But it feels like a new era in the royal family is upon us — one that will take a lot of adjustment for the palace and royal watchers, especially with major plans being made to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year.

With palace insiders telling the Daily Mail that “the public won’t see her out and about as much,” we all have to get ready for the changing of the guard. But don’t put the Queen into retirement just yet because she still loves to stay busy and will march forward with “less taxing engagements within palace walls.”

Before you go, click here to see the best photos of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip over the years.

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip

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