Confusion reigns over Queen Elizabeth II’s health after hospital stay

Buckingham Palace was forced to disclose Queen Elizabeth II had stayed overnight in hospital after The Sun newspaper broke the story

Questions mounted on Friday about the health of 95-year-old Queen Elizabeth II after she had tests and spent a night in hospital, despite royal officials saying she was resting at home.

Buckingham Palace said on Wednesday morning that she pulled out of a planned engagement in Northern Ireland and had been advised to rest on medical advice.

She returned from King Edward VII’s Hospital in central London to her Windsor Castle home west of the capital and was said to be “in good spirits”.

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Kirsty Duffield, an operations manager, told AFP health checks were “quite normal” at the Queen’s age and it was “really positive” that she was released so quickly.

Visiting US theatre director Charles Fee said she would be described as “a tough broad” across the Atlantic.

Britain’s Press Association news agency said the hospital visit and stay was not initially disclosed because it was expected to be short, and to protect her privacy.

The Queen has previously been treated at the exclusive private clinic, which is known for treating the royal family, including in 2013 for gastroenteritis, when she also stayed for one night.

Royals author Robert Hardman told the BBC there would be “a mild degree of irritation at the palace this morning” that news of the queen’s hospital stay had become public.

However, veteran BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said royal officials “have not been giving us a complete, reasonable picture of what has been occurring”.

“We must hope that we can rely on what the palace is now telling us,” he added, calling assurances that the queen was in good spirits “a handy phrase that the palace dusts off at moments such as this”.

“Royal sources had been keen to encourage the impression that she had just overdone it but may struggle to convince the public now,” he said.

The queen is head of state in the UK and 15 other realms around the world, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

The palace said she was back at her desk on Thursday afternoon undertaking “light duties”.

Her late husband, Prince Philip, died in April just a few weeks before his 100th birthday, months after spending four weeks in hospital.

Last week, she was seen for the first time at a major public event using a walking stick, but royal officials said it was not linked to any specific health condition.

“She hates people making a fuss of her in general but particularly to do with health,” added Hardman.


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