Much speculation has surrounded the health of Her Majesty the Queen in the past few months.
Having last week been seen using a walking stick for “comfort” during an engagement for the first time in 20 years, it was recently reported that the monarch has given up drinking at the behest of her doctors.
Additionally, despite appearing in good health during a reception for business leaders at Windsor Castle on Tuesday of this week, it was later announced by Buckingham Palace that the Queen would not be undertaking a planned two-day trip to Northern Ireland, and had instead “reluctantly accepted” medical advice to “rest”.
However, it later emerged that the monarch had actually spent the night in hospital for the first time since 2013, with the Palace forced to confirm the news after it was leaked by The Sun newspaper.
The Queen travelled to King Edward VII’s hospital in London on Wednesday, arriving via car, rather than helicopter.
Responding to the tabloid’s report on Thursday, the Palace released a statement reading: ‘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.’
Now, royal commentators are expressing frustration over how the matter had been dealt with by the palace, calling for more transparency when it comes to the matter of the monarch’s health.
“The problem, it seems to me, is that rumour and misinformation always thrives in the absence of proper, accurate and trustworthy information,” Nicholas Witchell, the BBC’s royal correspondent, said yesterday.
“Now, will we get further information from Buckingham Palace today about her condition? I just don’t know, but I think we need to recover a little bit from what happened on Wednesday.
“We’re told that she’s in good spirits. That would certainly be in line with her stoical character, but that’s a phrase that’s a little bit of a cliche now.”
The correspondent added: “We’re told that she is back at Windsor Castle undertaking light duties. Well, we must hope we can place reliance on what the palace is telling us.”
Though the palace is yet to confirm whether the Queen will be taking part in any public engagements next week, the monarch is scheduled to travel to Glasgow to attend Cop26 on November 1; having earlier expressed her irritation over world leaders who “talk, but don’t do” when in private conversation about the landmark climate summit.
Joe Little, the managing editor of Majesty magazine, admitted that the issue of revealing details of the monarch’s health is, however, complicated.
“This is a tricky one because the Queen does have a right to a certain degree of privacy,” he told The Telegraph. “But on the other hand, she’s head of state. So does that entitle us to know exactly what ailments she may or may not have? It’s a very difficult one to get the balance right for the satisfaction of everybody.”
We’re sending the Queen our well wishes.