Royal Family rallies round The Queen as she battles back from health scare after hospital stay
THE Royal Family have rallied round The Queen to support her in a time of need as she battles back from a health scare.
Prince Charles, 72, will be increasing the time he spends at Windsor Castle as she rests there under orders after spending a night in hospital — with other royals joining him in taking on her duties.
Aides said her Majesty, 95, is in good spirits after preliminary investigations and will be guided by medical advice over whether to attend next month’s COP26 summit of world leaders.
She has taken on a punishing 19 engagements since returning to work this month and walked with a stick for the first time in 20 years as she arrived for a service at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday.
The monarch was seen happily chatting to Bill Gates, US climate envoy John Kerry and PM Boris Johnson as she spent an hour on her feet at a government investment summit at Windsor Castle that evening.
Prince Charles stayed over and was with his mother the next day when royal doctors were called. At 11am, the Queen pulled out of a two-day trip to Northern Ireland on medical grounds.
It was to have been the first engagement to which she would have travelled without another senior royal since her return from her summer break at Balmoral, her estate in Scotland.
That afternoon, Princess Anne, 71, arrived at Windsor to assist Charles at an investiture ceremony while the Queen was driven 26 miles to King Edward VII Hospital in Marylebone, central London.
The palace would not comment on whether the call to doctors was triggered by concerns from her family.
Senior royals are understood to have been kept updated about her sudden trip.
One source said: “The Queen is head of state but is also a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.”
Others maintained she was kept in hospital overnight — the first time in eight years — for practical reasons as it was too late to drive her home.
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It was only her fifth hospital visit in 40 years.
Charles is expected to remain at Windsor for much of the next few weeks where other members of the family will be calling to help take on Her Majesty’s duties.
Anne, who lives at Gatcombe Park, Gloucs, is likely to help him further after they handed out gongs when the Queen was in hospital, including a Damehood to Great British Bake Off judge and food writer Mary Berry, 86.
A backlog of around 3,300 awards, including knighthoods, OBEs, MBEs and CBEs remains to be made after the ceremonies were axed due to Covid.
Rumours that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, both 39, will move to Windsor to be closer to the Queen were dismissed by Kensington Palace as “speculation”.
Prince Andrew, 61, who is often described as her favourite child, spent five weeks with her at Balmoral and is expected to visit regularly. He lives nearby.
Her Majesty’s youngest son, Prince Edward, 57, and his wife Sophie Wessex, 56, are regular visitors from Bagshot Park eight miles from Windsor.
The Frogmore Cottage home of Harry, 37, and Meghan, 40, is only a stone’s throw distant but they are based more than 5,400 miles away in the US.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Prince Michael of Kent and Lord Frederick Windsor may call in. All were at Tuesday’s Windsor summit.
Courtiers, meanwhile, say the Queen is “resting and undertaking light duties” and was back at her desk hours after being discharged from hospital.
She has given up alcohol since the Duke of Edinburgh died aged 99 in April.
The BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell has accused Buckingham Palace of secrecy as to the Queen’s condition.
He said: “As we were being told . . . she was undergoing what are now being described as preliminary investigations.
“We weren’t given the complete picture then, and one can understand the Palace’s perspective on this.
“They would say that the Queen is entitled to patient confidentiality . . . notwithstanding that she is the head of state and that millions of people in this country and around the world will be concerned.
“The problem, it seems to me, is that rumour and mis- information always thrives in the absence of proper, accurate and trustworthy information.”
Spokesmen for the Prince of Wales and Buckingham Palace did not wish to comment.
ROYAL FAMILY TO STEP UP
By Penny Junor, Royal Author
THE Royal Family know how to rally round — and we will now see the younger members step up
It’s possible the Queen overdid it recently in a bid to let the country know the monarchy is thriving.
They have been hit by Prince Philip’s death, Megxit and the scandal around Prince Andrew.
She has been out and about so much — almost like a woman half her age
But I think the Queen is probably quite self-sufficient and well looked after and might be a little suspicious if she saw the family circling too much.
They need to be careful and not treat her as though she is going to last no more than five minutes.
They just need to be there and take that little extra bit of care.
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