The Duke of Kent is the second royal this week to cancel a royal engagement. He is suffering from a chest infection and has been forced to pull out of royal engagements on “doctor’s advice” for the next week according to Buckingham Palace.
His younger sister, 80-year-old Princess Alexandra also cancelled royal engagements this week when she fell and broke her wrist. It is unknown when she will return to their royal duties. The Duke is scheduled to come back after a week, but with illness, it is hard to say for certain. Neither has expressed wishes of slowing down or retiring just yet.
The spokeswoman from Buckingham Palace said that the Duke hopes to be back at work soon. In 2016, he undertook 159 events in support of The Queen. His younger sister works equally hard; she carried out approximately 88 official engagements.
In recent years, the two royal siblings have suffered ill health but have bounced back, returning to work and public life. Last year, the Royal Family experienced several scares as quite a few of its hardest working members fell ill.
Last year, Anne, Princess Royal was forced to cancel several appearances and a trip due to illness, as well.
She was out of the public eye for approximately a month. Perhaps the biggest scare came just before Christmas when both The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh came down with the severe flu, forcing them to postpone travel plans before the holiday.
As a result, The Queen missed both the Christmas and New Year’s Day church services. Thankfully, both Her Majesty and the Duke have returned to public life in good health.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have handed off several of their patronages to the younger royals, and it is evident they are beginning to slow down if only just slightly due to their advanced ages. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall work at a break-neck pace, as well. Furthermore, we have seen the Duke of Cambridge and, in particular, the Duchess of Cambridge take up more royal engagements.
It is clear that ‘The Firm’ has been well-prepared for the day when The Queen and Duke will not undertake any royal engagements.