Queen Elizabeth's Role Formally Rewritten by the Palace for First Time in More Than 10 Years

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Queen Elizabeth has been cutting back her public appearances for several months — and now her lighter workload is official.

The annual report of the monarchy, which was released as the Sovereign Grant accounts were announced last week, revealed that the description of the Queen's role as head of state had been changed from 13 bulleted points to a less specific description. Additionally, those duties she "must fulfill" have been removed from the list, The Sunday Telegraph reported on July 2.

Buckingham Palace did not comment on the story. But sources acknowledge there has been a small update in part of the language.

The quiet move, the first such change in more than a decade, recognizes how things have changed for the Queen, 96, who is dealing with ongoing mobility issues.

At the conclusion of her Platinum Jubilee in June, the Queen emphasized that she would continue to serve but was doing so with the support of her family — something those at the palace stress.

As she has stepped back from some of her most high-profile public roles, others have stepped in. The most notable example was when Prince Charles, supported by Prince William, stood in for her at the State Opening of Parliament in May. Charles, 73, also represented his mother at Trooping the Colour and Royal Ascot.

Queen Elizabeth II Queen's Body Guard for Scotland Reddendo Parade in the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse
Queen Elizabeth II Queen's Body Guard for Scotland Reddendo Parade in the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Tim Rooke/Shutterstock Queen Elizabeth

Charles, William and the Queen's only daughter, Princess Anne, often stand in for her at the ceremonies where honors are awarded too.

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In the past, Charles has also represented his mother at the annual Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth II attend the Royal Company of Archers Reddendo Parade in the gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth II attend the Royal Company of Archers Reddendo Parade in the gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Despite her frequent absence from public events in recent years, the Queen delighted royal watchers when she attended a series of events at Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland, last week.

Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II Queen's Body Guard for Scotland Reddendo Parade in the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse,
Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II Queen's Body Guard for Scotland Reddendo Parade in the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse,

Tim Rooke/Shutterstock Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth

The Sovereign Grant report divides the queen's role into two: "The role of Head of State, which is a formal constitutional concept, common to all nations and involves the official duties which The Queen, by constitutional convention, must fulfill."

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And it adds, "The role of Head of Nation, a much more symbolic role in the life of the Nation, involving duties which are not directed by the constitution but which The Queen carries out where appropriate or necessary."