United Kingdom: questions about the state of health of Queen Elizabeth II after her night in hospital

Held initially secret, the night spent in hospital by Elizabeth II raised questions on Friday about the state of health of the 95-year-old sovereign, who maintains many of her appointments. “The royal sources are trying to give the impression that she has just done too much but they may have difficulty convincing the public now”, observes Richard Palmer, reporter at the Daily Express.

According to a source interviewed by the PA news agency, Elizabeth II, to whom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sent his best wishes for recovery, “is resting and doing light chores” on Friday from Windsor Castle on the outskirts of London.

The previous hospitalization dates back to 2013

After almost 70 years on the throne, the Queen continues to display good form in public. She has recently participated almost daily in official commitments and her hospitalizations made public are extremely rare, the last dating back to 2013 for gastroenteritis. She was seen walking with a cane last week, a first since 2004.

Vaccinated against Covid-19, she again hosted a reception in Windsor on Tuesday in the presence of Boris Johnson and American businessman Bill Gates, talking standing with the guests, without a mask. The next morning, she canceled a visit to Northern Ireland after “reluctantly accepting” her doctors’ advice to rest.

The Queen had received Bill Gates on Tuesday. REUTERS / Pool / Arthur Edwards

It was only when the tabloid The Sun revealed the information that Buckingham Palace made official, late in the evening her entry into Edward VII Hospital in London was made public, sources at the palace were quick to tell British media that she was She had gone there to consult specialists and that she had stayed all night only for “practical” reasons.

The “affection” of the British

“I think there is some irritation in the palace this morning that it has come out, but it reflects the enormous affection and concern of the country,” Robert Hardman, author of the royal family, said on the BBC. .

Elizabeth II holds the record for longevity on the British throne, which she acceded in 1952. She remains a beloved personality in Britain and around the world, praised for having preserved the monarchy despite the major transformations undergone by the United Kingdom during her reign, from decolonization to Brexit, and despite the many crises shaking her, such as the death of Diana in 1997.

More recently, the shattering withdrawal from the monarchy of his grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, who left for California, or the accusations of sexual assault targeting his son Andrew have shaken the institution.

His heir, Prince Charles, 72, is much less popular and the press lends him the intention to reduce the lifestyle of the monarchy by limiting it to a few active members of the family. “I don’t think we need to worry,” relativizes Kirsty Duffield, a Londoner interviewed by AFP near Buckingham Palace. “At his age, it’s normal to take exams. It’s a good sign that she got out so quickly ”.

“She is in very good health: she always rides a horse, leaves her home, she is a very strong woman”, approves Katie Lavin, while conceding: “At the same time, she is 95 years old”. Charlie Liwood, a retiree, notes the longevity of the mother of Elizabeth II, who died at 101 years. “At the same time, these people have an easy life” …

A busy schedule

Despite regular speculation about a withdrawal, especially after the death in April of her husband Philip at the age of 99, Elizabeth II, head of state of 16 kingdoms, has a busy agenda. If she no longer travels abroad and is represented there by her son Charles. She participated in the G7 summit by receiving US President Joe Biden in June, presents decorations and receives new ambassadors to the United Kingdom, sometimes by video conference.

The sovereign is expected at the UN climate conference at COP26 in early November in Glasgow, Scotland.

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