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Queen uses walking stick as she attends thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 12/10/2021 Michael Howie
The Queen And The Princess Royal Attend A Service Of Thanksgiving At Westminster Abbey © WireImage The Queen And The Princess Royal Attend A Service Of Thanksgiving At Westminster Abbey

The Queen used a walking stick when she attended a Westminster Abbey service marking the centenary of the Royal British Legion.

The 95-year-old Queen was handed the stick after stepping from her state limousine, and appeared to be moving freely as she walked to her seat for the start of the service.

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She used the stick again as she left. It is believed to be the first time she has used a walking aid at a major public event.

The Queen, who is the Royal British Legion's patron, did not arrive by the traditional great west door but via the poet's yard entrance, a shorter route to her seat.

Both developments are understood to be tailored for the Queen's comfort.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

The Queen was pictured using a stick in 2003, but this was after surgery to remove torn cartilage from her right knee.

 (WireImage) © Provided by Evening Standard (WireImage)

She left King Edward VII's Hospital using a heavy duty one after the operation, and also used a wooden one at a Sandringham church service two weeks later.

A few days on, she used another adjustable stick when she unveiled a set of bronze gates on the Sandringham estate, using the prop as a means of gesturing during the event.

Adjustments have been made to major events before to aid the Queen's comfort.

In 2016, she used a lift rather than stairs to enter Parliament for the State Opening.

Buckingham Palace said the "modest adjustment" to arrangements had been made for "the Queen's comfort".

By taking the lift, she avoided the 26 steps of the royal staircase at the Sovereign's Entrance.

She has also not worn the heavy Imperial State Crown since 2016, and it is now placed on a deep red and gold velvet cushion during the proceedings.

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