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Chris Jackson/Getty Queen Elizabeth
According to reports, Prince Charles is set to replace the 96-year-old monarch as host of the multi-sport event, which kicks off July 28 in Birmingham. Many members of the royal family, including Prince Edward as vice-patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation, are expected to attend the Commonwealth Games, which see athletes from across the Commonwealth of Nations competing.
Buckingham Palace did not comment on the reports, but a source says that decisions about whether the Queen is attending haven't been made yet and will be announced closer to the event.
Hannah McKay/getty Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth
In October, Queen Elizabeth teamed up with her son Prince Edward to officially launch the Queen's Baton Relay ahead of the XXII Commonwealth Games. The monarch passed the baton to Paralympian Kadeena Cox, who became the first baton bearer of the 294-day relay that will take the baton on a 90,000-mile journey to all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth before arriving in Birmingham.
The Commonwealth Games began in 1930 as the British Empire Games and have been held every four years (with the exception of 1942 and 1946) since. In 2022, 4,500 athletes from 72 and territories participate in the multi-sport event.
The baton relay was introduced at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales. Since then, the relay has extended greatly — at first, the journey only went through England and the host nation.
The Queen, with The Earl of Wessex, launched The Queen’s Baton Relay for @Birminghamcg22 at Buckingham Palace today.
Containing Her Majesty’s message for The Commonwealth, the Baton will embark on a 294 day relay through The Commonwealth before arriving in Birmingham. pic.twitter.com/XT9mUMiJqr
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) October 7, 2021
The Queen has been experiencing mobility issues in recent months and finds it difficult to stand for long periods. She has been using a walking cane and even complained about mobility problems, joking during an in-person meeting: "Well, as you can see, I can't move!"
After appearing on the Buckingham Palace balcony for Trooping the Colour last week, the palace announced that the monarch would not attend the following day's service of thanksgiving in her honor. She lit the Platinum Jubilee beacons on Thursday night, then did not step out in person again until the grand finale on Sunday, when she ended the Platinum Jubilee Pageant with a surprise appearance alongside her family on the palace balcony again.
"The Queen greatly enjoyed today's Birthday Parade and Flypast but did experience some discomfort," a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said last week.
Her own high expectations for herself are a factor in keeping the Queen from taking part, says royal historian Robert Lacey in this week's issue of PEOPLE: "She would not want to stumble — not for her own sake but for the distress it would cause other people."
A source told PEOPLE that the Queen's episodic mobility issues flared during the course of the day on Thursday. She was pictured using her cane on the palace balcony as she took the salute and viewed the flypast alongside members of the royal family.
Kate Middleton gave a health update on the Queen on Friday. During a reception held at Guildhall by the former Lord Mayor, the Duchess of Cambridge, 40, told an attendee that the Queen was "fine" after a long day of Trooping the Colour.
"Yes, she [the Queen] was fine, it was just very tiring yesterday," Kate said, according to PA, adding that the monarch "had had a lovely, lovely time."