Queen Elizabeth back at desk after first night in hospital in years

Published October 23, 2021
Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Boris Johnson greet guests at a reception for the Global Investment Summit in Windsor Castle, Windsor, Britain, on Tuesday. — Reuters/File
Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Boris Johnson greet guests at a reception for the Global Investment Summit in Windsor Castle, Windsor, Britain, on Tuesday. — Reuters/File

LONDON: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, 95, was back at her desk at Windsor Castle on Friday after she spent a night in hospital for the first time in years for what Buckingham Palace termed “preliminary investigations”.

The world’s oldest and longest-reigning monarch stayed in hospital overnight on Wednesday, but returned to Windsor Castle, to the west of London, the following day, with officials saying she was in good spirits and back at work.

The queen, who cancelled an official trip to Northern Ireland on Wednesday, had been told to rest by her medical staff, the Palace said, but her ailment was not related to Covid.

“Following medical advice to rest for a few days, the queen attended hospital on Wednesday afternoon for some preliminary investigations, returning to Windsor Castle at lunchtime today, and remains in good spirits,” the palace said late on Thursday.

Aides gave no details on what had prompted the medical attention, and some royal correspondents said they hoped the official version of events painted the full picture.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent his best wishes and said the monarch was back at her desk.

“I am given to understand that actually Her Majesty is, characteristically, back at her desk at Windsor as we speak,” Johnson told reporters.

A royal source said the queen had stayed at the King Edward VII hospital in central London for practical reasons and that her medical team had taken a cautious approach.

The source said she was now resting and undertaking light official duties.

Elizabeth, who is queen of 15 other realms including Australia, Canada and New Zealand, returned to her desk for work on Thursday afternoon and was undertaking some light duties, the source said.

Elizabeth, who acceded to the throne as Britain was shedding its imperial power, has symbolised stability for generations of British people, building the popularity of the monarchy despite seismic political, social and cultural changes that threatened to make it an anachronism.

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2021

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