90-year-old Queen El­iz­a­beth cuts back on royal en­gage­ments

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE in Lon­don

Queen El­iz­a­beth II will stand down as pa­tron of 25 bod­ies in­clud­ing the Wim­ble­don ten­nis cham­pi­onships and the Rugby Foot­ball Union, hand­ing them to other roy­als af­ter turn­ing 90, her of­fice said on Tues­day.

“At the end of the queen’s 90 th birth­day year, Her Maj- esty will step down as pa­tron from a num­ber of na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions,” Buck­ing­ham Palace said in a state­ment.

Other bod­ies on the list in­clude the chil­dren’s char­ity Barnardo’s, the Bri­tish Cy­cling Fed­er­a­tion and the Royal Ge­o­graph­i­cal So­ci­ety.

At the All Eng­land Lawn Ten­nis and Cro­quet Club Wim­ble­don, where the queen has been pa­tron since 1952 de­spite only at­tend­ing a few matches, she will be re­placed by Prince Wil­liam’s wife Kate.

Prince Harry will take the queen’s place at the Rugby Foot­ball Union, where she has also been the of­fi­cial pa­tron since in­her­it­ing the throne in 1952.

A Buck­ing­ham Palace spokesman said the char­i­ties con­cerned rep­re­sented less than 5 per­cent of the 600 or­ga­ni­za­tions of which the queen is a pa­tron.

“The queen will no longer have a for­mal con­nec­tion to these or­ga­ni­za­tions. If there is a royal engagement, then the in­vi­ta­tion will go to other mem­bers of the royal fam­ily,” he said.

The queen has al­ready slightly re­duced her en­gage­ments in the past year, ac­cord- ing to es­ti­mates in Bri­tish me­dia, from 393 in 2014 to 341 in 2015.

The queen be­came the world’s long­est-reign­ing monarch in October this year fol­low­ing the death of Thai king Bhu­mi­bol Adulyadej.

In Septem­ber last year, she had sur­passed the reign of her great great grand­mother Victoria, who was on the throne from 1837 un­til 1901.

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