The monarch’s schedule has been stripped down while she recovers (Picture: AFP / PA)
The Queen will carry out only ‘light duties’ as she rests following an overnight stay in hospital with an undisclosed illness, according to sources close to her.
The 95-year-old was forced to miss a trip to Northern Ireland after being taken to King Edward VII’s hospital in London for ‘preliminary investigations’ on Wednesday night.
She is said to be in ‘good spirits’ after returning to Windsor Castle on Thursday.
Sources said her situation was identical on Friday, and that she is continuing to carry out ordinary duties from the castle.
This includes correspondence from her red boxes: policy papers, Cabinet documents, Foreign Office telegrams, a daily summary of events in Parliament and other letters related to state matters.
However Buckingham Palace refused to say whether any further engagements would have to be cancelled or postponed.
Royal officials were accused of unjustified secrecy after failing to disclose the hospital stay until it was revealed by a tabloid newspaper.
They announced the cancellation of the monarch’s trip on Wednesday morning but said only that she had ‘reluctantly accepted medical advice to rest for the next few days’.
It is the first time the queen has spent a night in hospital since 2013 (Picture: Getty)
It was only after The Sun broke the news on Thursday night, hours after she was discharged, that an official statement was released.
In an unusually critical segment, the BBC’s long-serving royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said Buckingham Palace’s assurances were worthy of being doubted.
He said: ‘It’s quite difficult to read. We were led to believe on Wednesday by Buckingham Palace that the Queen was resting at Windsor Castle.
‘And as we were being told that – and of course we were relaying this to our viewers and listeners, and newspapers to their readers – in fact she was in hospital undergoing these what are now described as preliminary investigations.
So we weren’t given the complete picture, and one can understand the palace’s perspective on this. They would say that the Queen is entitled to patient confidentiality, medical privacy, and not withstanding that she’s the head of state and millions of people in this country and around the world will be concerned.
‘The problem it seems to me is that rumour and misinformation always thrives in the absence of proper accurate and trustworthy information.
‘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 bit from what happened on Wednesday.’
Wednesday’s visit marked the Queen’s first overnight stay in hospital since 2013, when she was treated for symptoms of gastroenteritis, a type of stomach bug.
The King Edward VII hospital in London treated Prince Philip numerous times (Picture: Getty Images)
Meanwhile, royal biographer Angela Levin told talkRadio today: ‘We’ve got to sort of encourage her to take a step back or sideways or something to allow her body to recover from the engagements that she does.
‘I think it’s a fight between her head and her body, because she wants to do it, she feels she can, she’s very articulate, she’s absolutely spot on with everything she says, but her body is 95 years old.’
She added: ‘I think if Prince Philip was still around, he would exercise a bit of control and say ‘look, stop it, don’t go to so many engagements and relax a bit’.
‘I think she thinks she does it best [compared to other royals] and she’s the most experienced, but I think the main thing is the religious one, that when she was 21 and she said that she would do her best to be the Queen and with God’s help she would do it until she died.
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