Due to issues with her health and mobility, Queen Elizabeth II delegated her responsibility of opening parliament to Prince Charles on Tuesday, creating rumors of ill health regarding the Queen and a preview of Charles’ possible future role as King of England. 

Prince Charles did the ceremonial opening of the British Parliament for the first time, sitting on the Consort’s Throne that the deceased Prince Philip used during his lifetime with the Queen while being flanked by both Prince William and Camila, Duchess of Cornwall on both sides, according to USA Today

Charles read the Queen's Speech during the occasion, which is written by the current sitting government and highlights their legislative agenda for the year. Among the differences between Charles’ speech and the Queen’s typical speech is that Charles read it in the third person, saying “Her Majesty's Government” instead of “my government,” the Daily Beast reported. 

The Queen was reportedly watching the ceremony through television in Windsor Castle, and her crown, the Imperial State Crown, was on a red velvet pillow where the Sovereign's Throne would typically be. 

As the Queen’s health is rumored to be worse than Buckingham Palace is saying, many believe that the Palace is gearing up for a transition where he would act as a Regent for the Queen due to her ill health, representing her in public appearances as her reported “mobility problems” become more pronounced. 

“The heir is teetering on the edge of becoming a de facto prince regent. William will observe what awaits him,” Peter Hunt said. “With the queen progressively withdrawing from public life, the palace is keen to show the monarchy is safe in the hands of father and son."

The Queen has only missed the opening of Parliament twice during her reign, both during her pregnancies with Princess Anne and Prince Edward in 1959 and 1963, respectively. Although it appears that Charles will become Prince Regent due to the Queen’s health, royal historian Robert Hardman stated a distinction that many people are missing in this situation. 

“The last time that an heir to the throne opened Parliament, he was called the Prince Regent, so it is understandable that is how some people are seeing this. But the fact is that a regency is something that is done on behalf of the monarch, and in this case the monarch has laid down the rules and asked for it to be done, which is an important distinction,” Hardman said. 

GettyImages-1240579012 Prince Charles sits on the Consort's Throne to deliver the Queen's Speech for the first time in his life, as the Queen has chosen not to do the address this year due to concerns about her health. WPA Pool/Getty Images.