On Thursday, the Queen was handed a walking stick by an aide as she got out of her car outside Parliament in Cardiff. Her Majesty was in Wales for the first time in five years, as she formally opened the sixth session of the Senedd, following the election in May. She was joined by her son Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
The Queen first used her walking stick this week on Tuesday October 12 when she attended a service at Westminster Abbey with her daughter, Princess Anne.
In another departure from normality, the 95-year-old monarch arrived, not by the traditional Great West Door to the Abbey, 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.
Her Majesty has not been pictured with a walking aid since 2003 and 2004, when she used one following a knee operation.
Royal fans on social media were worried when they saw these pictures and videos, and some even claimed that she was endangering herself by not using it properly.
For example, royal fan Natalie Evans tweeted: “Her Majesty was carrying a walking stick but not relying on it for stability or balance.
“Frequently swapped from one hand to the other but mostly the walking aid was off the ground.
“She was waving her walking stick around like Charlie Chaplain!”
Maia Amani added: “Somebody needs to tell the Queen to practice how to use her walking stick properly.”
Sheina Burns offered some great advice to Her Majesty: “Will one of the Queen’s advisers let her know that a walking stick must not be used while carrying a handbag in one hand and a bouquet of flowers in the other.
“It is a trip to disaster.
“I am 82 and know the help that walking sticks can give, but also their danger if one is carrying other items.
“The Queen’s lady-in-waiting should carry Her Majesty’s handbag, and then any flowers given to the Queen.”
Frances Silverman agreed, tweeting: “I’m worried for the Queen seeing her use that walking stick.”
In a slightly cynical tone, Gina Roberts tweeted: “Princess Anne had to hand the walking stick to the Queen the same way I used to hand my mother’s to her.
“And the Queen is carrying it the same way my mother carried hers without actually using it as intended.”
However, some royal fans were happy to see the Queen using her walking stick if it meant she was gaining some more support.
Barbara Lockman tweeted: “I think she’s entitled to use a walking stick at her age! She still doesn’t look as if she’s actually depending on it.”
Also, Bia Botana added: “My dearest Queen, you’re always very elegant, more than ever with your contemporary design stick.
“My stick is old fashioned, but I need to use it at moments in my life. It’s better to use a stick and not fall to the ground!”