British Royal Family

Buckingham Palace announces major change that proves Prince Charles is ready to be King

He's ready to step up and start taking on more duties.

By Maddison Leach
We're about to get our first look at King Charles as the Prince of Wales takes over for his mother, the Queen, at an event she hasn't missed in 59 years.
It was announced on Tuesday that Her Majesty would not attend the State Opening of Parliament in the UK due to ongoing "mobility problems" which limit her ability to attend public events.
Instead, her eldest son and long-time heir apparent Prince Charles would attend the landmark event in her place and deliver the speech usually given by the reigning monarch.
The Prince of Wales has been heir apparent for almost 70 years. (Image: Getty)
"The Queen continues to experience episodic mobility problems, and in consultation with her doctors has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the State Opening of Parliament," read a statement from Buckingham Palace.
"At Her Majesty's request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, The Prince of Wales will read The Queen's speech on Her Majesty's behalf, with The Duke of Cambridge also in attendance."
His appearance marks a huge shift for the royal family as Charles begins to officially take over key duties reserved for the nation's monarch from the Queen.
After battling a number of health concerns in the last 12 months, from COVID-19, to a back sprain and undisclosed illness that prompted a hospital visit, Her Majesty has been stepping back from public life.
She has skipped key events like the Easter Maundy Service in 2022 and the Remembrance Sunday Service in 2021, with more cancelled appearances expected in the coming months.
Her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, slated for June, are expected to be an exception, with plans for Her Majesty to attend all the major events honouring her 70 years on the throne.
WATCH: Queen looks stern as she prepares for speech to parliament. Story continues after video.
But as Charles opens UK Parliament today, it's clear the monarchy is taking its first steps towards a future where he is king.
This is the first time the Queen has missed the ceremony since 1963, and she's only skipped it three times in her reign.
Each time, the lord chancellor of parliament read her speech on her behalf, but now Charles is taking over that duty as he prepares for his future on the throne.
That said, he will not be sitting in his mother's throne at parliament, nor will he wear the Imperial State Crown, signifying that Her Majesty's rule is certainly not over yet.