Royal Family Rush to Queen Elizabeth’s Side as Doctors Voice Concern About Her Health
In her most recent public appearance, Britain's Queen Elizabeth waits in the Drawing Room at Balmoral Castle on Tuesday before receiving Liz Truss for an audience, where she invited the newly elected leader of the Conservative Party to become Prime Minister and form a new government. Photo: Jane Barlow/Pool/Reuters
Britain’s Royal Family rushed to be with Queen Elizabeth after doctors said they were concerned about the health of the 96-year-old monarch on Thursday and said she should remain under medical supervision.
The Queen, Britain’s longest-reigning sovereign and the world’s oldest monarch, has been suffering from what Buckingham Palace has called “episodic mobility problems” since the end of last year.
“Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision,” the palace said in a statement.
“The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”
Her eldest son and heir Prince Charles and his wife Camilla travelled to her Scottish home, Balmoral Castle, where she is staying, along with his eldest son Prince William, officials said. Her other children — Anne, Andrew and Edward – were also at the castle.
A spokesperson said Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, in Britain for a number of events, would also travel to Scotland.
Such a family gathering, outside of holiday events such as Christmas or Easter or major public events, is extremely rare.
The BBC interrupted its normal schedule to switch to constant coverage of the Queen.
“My prayers, and the prayers of people across the @churchofengland and the nation, are with Her Majesty The Queen today,” Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said on Twitter.
Last October, Queen Elizabeth spent a night in hospital and she has been forced to cut back on public engagements since then. On Wednesday she cancelled a virtual meeting with senior ministers after being advised to rest by her doctors.
The previous day she had been pictured appointing Liz Truss as the country’s new prime minister at Balmoral, the 15th prime minister of her record-breaking reign.
A palace source played down speculation that the monarch had suffered a fall.
Elizabeth has been Queen of Britain and more than a dozen other countries since 1952, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and earlier this year marked her 70th year on the throne with four days of national celebrations in June.
“I have been inspired by the kindness, joy and kinship that has been so evident in recent days, and I hope this renewed sense of togetherness will be felt for many years to come,” she said at the time.
Elizabeth came to the throne after the death of her father King George VI on Feb. 6, 1952, when she was just 25.
She was crowned in June the following year. The first televised coronation was a foretaste of a new world in which the lives of the royals were to become increasingly scrutinized by the media.
She became monarch at a time when Britain retained much of its empire. It was emerging from the ravages of the Second World War, with food rationing still in force and class and privilege still dominant in society.
Winston Churchill was the first prime minister who served during her reign, Joseph Stalin was leader of the Soviet Union, the Korean War was raging.
The prime minister said: “My thoughts — and the thoughts of people across our United Kingdom – are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time.”
Lindsay Hoyle, speaker of the House of Commons, interrupted an energy debate in parliament to say he sent his best wishes to the monarch.
“Along with the rest of the country, I am deeply worried by the news from Buckingham Palace this afternoon,” opposition Labour Leader Keir Starmer said.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Twitter: “All of us are feeling profoundly concerned at reports of Her Majesty’s health. My thoughts and wishes are with the Queen and all of the Royal Family at this time.”
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Kate Holton and Janet Lawrence)
Key Dates in the Life of Queen Elizabeth II
Here are some facts about Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
- Elizabeth was born at 17 Bruton St, London, on April 21, 1926, and christened on May 29 that year in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace.
- She became heir apparent when her uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated on Dec. 11, 1936, and her father became King George VI. She was 10 years old.
- She married navy lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, a Greek prince, at London’s Westminster Abbey on Nov. 20, 1947. They had four children: Prince Charles (born in 1948), Princess Anne (1950), Prince Andrew (1960) and Prince Edward (1964). Philip died in April 2021, aged 99.
- She ascended the throne on the death of her father on Feb. 6, 1952, while she was in Kenya on a royal tour. She was crowned on June 2, 1953 at Westminster Abbey, the first ever coronation to be televised.
- When she ascended the throne, Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong and Harry Truman were leading the Soviet Union, China and the United States, while Winston Churchill was British prime minister.
- She has been served by 15 prime ministers. During her reign, there have been 14 U.S. presidents, all of whom she has met bar Lyndon Johnson.
- On Sept. 9, 2015, she surpassed the 63 years, 7 months, 2 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes that her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria spent on the throne to become the country’s longest-reigning monarch in a line dating back to Norman King William the Conqueror in 1066.
- Elizabeth remains Queen of 15 realms including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Tuvalu.
- She celebrated her Platinum Jubilee — the 70th anniversary of her accession — on Feb. 6, 2022.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Alex Richardson, Editing by Angus MacSwan)