Queen Elizabeth Might Do Something She's Never Done Before Due To Her Health

Queen Elizabeth continues to set new precedents as she balances her duties as monarch with the realities of aging. Primarily, Elizabeth's health problems have been what Buckingham Palace calls "episodic mobility problems," per NBC News. "The queen's condition is not what you would call ideal, but then Her Majesty is 96 after all," a source told the Daily Mail.

Health-wise, the queen has had her share of ups and downs over the past few months. Back in June, royal fans were excited to see Elizabeth return to her favorite pastime of horseback riding. Then at the beginning of August, concerns for the queen's health returned with the news that her Scottish holiday wouldn't include a public welcome celebration. Adding to the disappointing news, a source told the Daily Mail that the monarch had experienced "a change in the past few weeks" with regard to her mobility and that Elizabeth spends more time "resting" because of it.

After the queen's mobility problems prevented her from officially opening Parliament, Buckingham Palace revised her job description. Instead of 13 required responsibilities for her role as Head of State, the newer, more flexible version "encompasses a range of parliamentary and diplomatic duties," per The Telegraph. Although the queen can opt to have other senior royals step in where needed, there are some duties she wants to handle herself. This desire, combined with her health challenges, may result in an historic first for the monarch.

Queen Elizabeth may meet the new prime minister in Scotland

On September 6, Queen Elizabeth will meet with resigning Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his successor for a ceremony known as the "kissing of the hands," per The Telegraph. "The incoming British prime minister is received in audience by the queen, to date in person, and Her Majesty asks him or her to form a new administration," Joe Little, Majesty Magazine's Managing Editor, told Town & Country. "In accepting the offer, he or she is said to have 'kissed hands' but the actual gesture of kissing hands no longer takes place."

Traditionally, the ceremony takes place at Buckingham Palace. Due to the queen's mobility challenges, the politicians may do the traveling instead and meet with Elizabeth at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where the monarch has been on holiday since the end of July, per Yahoo! Entertainment. Previously, the queen preferred to travel, allowing the new political leader to focus on their new role. While this decision will be a first in Elizabeth's 70 years on the job, it was a frequent arrangement during Queen Victoria's reign (via The Telegraph).

"The queen has now been advised not to travel. But obviously no one tells the queen what to do and ultimately it is her decision," a source told The Sun. "There are some parts of her role that Prince Charles can do on her behalf but the queen is adamant that she appoints the Prime Minister."

The queen's attendance at the Braemar Games may provide clues about her health

Queen Elizabeth's Balmoral holiday has been particularly quiet this year. The queen has not been spotted in public since she arrived in Scotland on July 21, per the Daily Mail. In addition, The Daily Telegraph reports that the monarch hasn't attended Crathie Kirk, the local church. In past years, Elizabeth's car was seen weekly as she attended services there. This lack of visibility has fueled speculation about her health.

On August 8, another public opportunity to see the queen was taken off the royal calendar when the Balmoral welcome ceremony was transformed into a private event that Buckingham Palace dubbed "in line with adapting Her Majesty's schedule for her comfort," the Mirror noted. Also, Prince Charles' recent Balmoral visits have added to concerns. "It's highly unusual for Prince Charles to make these kinds of impromptu visits to see his mother," said royal expert Ingrid Seward, per Metro. "Everyone thinks they normally see each other all the time, but they don't."

Royal watchers are now looking to the upcoming Braemar Games as an indication of the queen's well-being. Held the first weekend in September, these Highland Games are typically a highlight of the queen's social calendar in Scotland, the Daily Mail reports. "I think it will be significant if she doesn't attend," said Rob Jobson, Sunrise royal editor, per 7 News. "With the mobility problems she's got, she's struggling to stand on her feet, it's difficult."