Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, greet the
President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin
Zayed al-Nahayan at Windsor Castle in southern England.
Far-flung Commonwealth countries such as Australia now
appear off-limits for the Queen after Buckingham Palace
confirmed it was reviewing her long-haul royal trips.
In a significant move, the 87-year-old will miss the
Commonwealth summit for the first time in 40 years, with
Prince Charles set to travel to Sri Lanka in November in her
It is the first time since 1971 the Queen has not attended a
Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.
In a gradual move to cut down the ageing monarch's foreign
trips, it's expected Charles will step in for future
long-distance visits, like he and other royals did during the
Diamond Jubilee year.
Queen Elizabeth II last visited Australia in 2011 and many
expected then her 16th visit to the Commonwealth country
would be her last.
A palace spokesman told AAP on Tuesday another trip down
under could not be ruled in or out but confirmed all overseas
engagements would now be carefully considered.
"This is part of an ongoing process of looking at the Queen's
long-haul travel arrangements," the spokesman said.
"The Queen did not travel overseas at all last year but other
members of her family represented her during the engagements
"... All of the Queen's engagements of long-haul would
certainly be looked at in light of various items, most
importantly the Queen being 87."
The Palace stressed the Queen remained in good health.
"The Queen's diary is still a very busy one," the spokesman
Respected royals commentator Richard Fitzwilliams applauded
the move but said the Queen's remarkable stamina meant long
distance visits in the future could not be totally ruled out.
"As age approaches you get limitations and obviously it's
only sensible to take account of these," Mr Fitzwilliams told
"... There's no question she will do what she can but it
would undoubtedly be sensible to expect the royal duties the
Queen undertakes to be closer to home on the whole.
"I wouldn't rule out anything if you remember the remarkable
tenacity of the monarch, but it is clearly a sign that it's
important to pace it."