How Queen’s health deteriorated after the loss of ‘her rock’ the Duke of Edinburgh

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The Queen is under medical supervision after doctors became concerned for her health this morning, Buckingham Palace revealed today.

The Prince of Wales, Camilla and the Duke of Cambridge have travelled to Balmoral to be with the 96-year-old monarch after being informed about her downturn.

Palace officials said that doctors are ‘concerned for Her Majesty’s health’ following an evaluation this morning.

Her medical team recommended that the Queen, who is the longest-living and longest-serving monarch in British history, be kept under medical supervision.

Prince Andrew and Princess Anne are both expected in Scotland with one of the Royal Family’s helicopters landing in the grounds of Her Majesty’s Scottish home this morning.

A royal spokesman said: ‘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 Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.’ 

The Queen is known for her strong constitution and no fuss approach to her infrequent illnesses.

But her health has deteriorated since the death of her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, on April 9, 2021.

The Queen and Prince Philip pictured in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle ahead on June 2020, just nine months before he died

The Queen waits in the Drawing Room before receiving Liz Truss for an audience at Balmoral, Scotland on Tuesday. Today she is under the supervision of doctors amid concerns about her health

A statement about the Queen's health is exceptionally rare and raises major concerns

A statement about the Queen’s health is exceptionally rare and raises major concerns 

One of the Royal Family's helicopters has landed at Balmoral. Charles and Camilla are believed to be there with William on his way from Windsor. Prince Andrew and Princess Anne are both expected

One of the Royal Family’s helicopters has landed at Balmoral. Charles and Camilla are believed to be there with William on his way from Windsor. Prince Andrew and Princess Anne are both expected

THE QUEEN’S EARLIER HEALTH WOES 

1949: Measles

The Queen caught measles when Prince Charles was two months old in 1949 and had to be separated from her baby son. 

1982: Wisdom tooth extraction

The first time the Queen was actually admitted to hospital was in July 1982 when she had a wisdom tooth extracted at private clinic the King Edward VII Hospital in central London.

1994: Broken left wrist

The Queen’s no fuss approach to injury and illness was perfectly illustrated in 1994.

She broke her left wrist when her horse tripped during a ride on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

The break was not diagnosed until almost 24 hours later when her arm was X-rayed and set in plaster at a hospital.

It was the first time she had fallen in many years and the Queen had simply brushed herself down, remounted her horse and trotted on back to Sandringham.

2003: Knee operations 

The Queen underwent operations to both of her knees in 2003.

The first, on January 13, removed torn cartilage from her right knee, while the second, on December 12, was a nearly identical procedure to her left knee.

Doctors decided the second surgery was needed shortly after the first, but the procedures were spread out to minimise the impact on her commitments. 

March 2013: Gastroenteritis

She was treated at the King Edward VII’s Hospital for a nasty bout of gastroenteritis in 2013, when she was aged 86.

It marked the Queen’s first hospital stay in 10 years. 

The monarch spent one night in hospital and left thanking staff and smiling before being driven to Buckingham Palace to rest. 

She missed an engagement in Swansea when she was due to present St David’s Day leeks to the 3rd Battalion The Royal Welsh.

From 2013: Aching joints 

The Queen has suffered from back and joint pain for a decade.

In November 2013, the Duke of Cambridge stepped in to represent the Queen at an investiture ceremony after she suffered some ‘mild discomfort’ with her ankle after a busy weekend of engagements including the service of remembrance at the Cenotaph.

In 2014, the Prince of Wales stood in for the Queen for part of the Order of the Bath service to avoid her having to make an extra journey up and down some steep steps in full regalia. 

She turned 90 in 2016 and, the same year, used the lift rather than stairs to enter Parliament for the State Opening, avoiding the 26 steps of the royal staircase at the Sovereign’s Entrance.

May 2018: Cataract surgery

The Queen underwent eye surgery to remove a cataract.

 

From October 2021: Episodic mobility problems

The Queen has faced ongoing ‘episodic mobility problems’ stretching back to last autumn and now uses a walking stick.

In October 2021, six months after her husband’s death, the monarch used the stick at a service at Westminster Abbey. It marked the first time she had done so at a major public engagement.

Since Prince Philip’s death, the Queen has struggled to carry out many of her usual in-person duties, forcing her to either pull out of events or make an appearance via video calls.

She pulled out of the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in March 2022, a significant date in the royal calendar, and did not attend the Maundy Thursday service on April 14. 

But she rallied to honour the Duke of Edinburgh at a memorial service on March 29, walking slowly and carefully with the aid of a stick, and holding on to the Duke of York’s elbow for support. 

On May 20, she missed the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in nearly 60 years, with Buckingham Palace attributing her absence to ‘episodic mobility problems’.

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge opened parliament on her behalf as Counsellors of State, with Charles reading the Queen’s Speech for a historic first time. 

On August 8, he Queen’s traditional welcome to Balmoral Castle by a guard of honour was reportedly held in private. A source said this was in line with events being adapted for the monarch’s comfort. 

The following month, The Queen missed the Braemar Gathering, the popular Highland Games event, and the Prince of Wales officially opened a new structure celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

It is understood the decision was taken for the comfort of the head of state.

October 2021: Ordered bed rest

A week after the service, after a busy autumn programme, she was ordered to rest by her doctors and advised to cancel a trip to Northern Ireland. 

October 2021: Hospitalised due to mystery illness 

The Queen, aged 95 at the time, was secretly admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital on the afternoon of October 20, 2021 to undergo ‘preliminary investigations’.

She was discharged the next day and ‘accepted medical advice to rest for the next few days’ and was said to be in ‘good spirits’ — carrying out light duties at her desk at Windsor. 

November 2021: Pulled out of events

Concern for the Queen’s health mounted when she pulled out of more high-profile engagements in November 2021.

These included the Cop26 climate change summit on November 1 and the Festival of Remembrance on November 12.

Buckingham Palace said the monarch had been advised to continue to rest and to not carry out any official visits. 

She was intent on attending the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph on November 13, but missed this due to a sprained back.

February 2022: Covid infection

There were fears for her health when she caught Covid, testing positive on February 20, 2022. 

The Queen, who was then triple-vaccinated, suffered from mild cold-like symptoms but said the virus left her ‘very tired and exhausted’.

She carried on with light duties while self-isolating at Windsor but cancelled some virtual audiences.

June 2022: Discomfort during celebrations

On June 3, a day after thrilling crowds on the first day of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the Queen pulled out of a celebration at St Paul’s Cathedral.

This was due to suffering ‘discomfort’ during the previous day’s celebrations

The decision was considered regrettable, it is understood, but sensible due to the length of the journey, the time involved and the physical demands of the event.

How private King Edward VII’s Hospital is the first choice for the royal family 

Many a royal has been cared for at the private King Edward VII’s Hospital.

From the Queen to the late Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother, the exclusive clinic in central London has been the first port of call for ailing members of The Firm for years.

The Duke of Edinburgh has been admitted a number of times in recent years and the Duchess of Cornwall had a hysterectomy at the medical institution in 2012.

The first time the Queen was admitted to hospital was at the King Edward VII’s in July 1982 when she had a wisdom tooth extracted.

Police at King Edward VII's Hospital in Marylebone today where Philip was initially taken after telling his doctor he felt unwell

Police at King Edward VII’s Hospital in Marylebone today where Philip was initially taken after telling his doctor he felt unwell

In 2003, the clinic’s surgeons also removed minor non-cancerous growths from the monarch’s face and operated on her knee.

Tragedy struck in 2012 when nurse Jacintha Saldanha apparently killed herself after she was duped by two hoax callers who had phoned the hospital.

The Duchess of Cambridge was being treated at the hospital for severe morning sickness when pregnant with Prince George, and Ms Saldanha – believing the Australian pair were senior royals – put them through to a colleague who described in detail Kate’s condition.

Philip was treated at the hospital for a short period in 2018 following a planned admission for a pre-existing but undisclosed condition.

The previous year the duke spent nine days receiving treatment and physio following a hip replacement at the institution.

King Edward VII’s Hospital was established in 1899 by two sisters, Agnes and Fanny Keyser, who turned their home at 17 Grosvenor Crescent into a hospital for sick and wounded officers returning from the Boer War.

King Edward VII became the hospital’s first patron – a role now held by the Queen. Edward VII, Charles’s great-great grandfather, had an affair with Camilla’s great-grandmother Alice Keppel.

The hospital moved to its present site in Beaumont Street in 1948, and in 2000 it changed its title to King Edward VII’s Hospital Sister Agnes.

 

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