Concerns about the health of Queen Elizabeth II grew Wednesday after Buckingham Palace announced she was “reluctantly” canceling a planned trip to Northern Ireland on doctor’s “advice.”
The news came after the 95-year-old monarch was seen using a walking stick during two engagements last week, and after Vanity Fair reported that doctors had told her to give up alcohol, including her beloved evening martini.
Royal sources have told the U.K. media that “there is no cause for concern” about the queen’s health, and that the trip cancellation is not related to the coronavirus.
“The Queen has reluctantly accepted medical advice to rest for the next few days,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement, the Daily Mail reported. “Her Majesty is in good spirits and is disappointed that she will no longer be able to visit Northern Ireland, where she had been due to undertake a series of engagements today and tomorrow. The Queen sends her warmest good wishes to the people of Northern Ireland, and looks forward to visiting in the future.”
The queen is still expected to host world leaders at the COP26 UN climate change summit in Glasgow, Scotland at the end of October. It therefore appears that doctors aren’t overly worried about her health — they just want her to slow down for a bit.
As the Daily Mail and Vanity Fair reported, the queen, five years shy of her 100th birthday, has a busy, “grueling” schedule ahead of her this autumn and in the months leading up to her Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.
Now resting at Windsor Castle, she just ended a packed two weeks of official engagements, according to the Daily Mail. The queen attended 10 major events in 14 days, including a visit to the Ascot Racecourse; a visit to Wales to address the Welsh Parliament; virtual and in-person audiences with the new governor-general of New Zealand and the ambassadors of Japan and the EU; and hosted a reception Tuesday evening at Windsor Castle for delegates at the Global Investment Conference, who included Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry and billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
Vanity Fair’s royal reporter Katie Nicholl said that the queen is still “in good physical health.” But she also faces “one of the most important periods in her reign — reaching a milestone 70 years on the throne.” For that reason, Nicholl reported, doctors advised her to forgo alcohol except for special occasions “to ensure she is as healthy as possible for her busy autumn schedule.”
“The queen has been told to give up her evening drink, which is usually a martini,” a family friend told Vanity Fair. “It’s not really a big deal for her, she is not a big drinker but it seems a trifle unfair that at this stage in her life she’s having to give up one of very few pleasures.”
Nicholl also noted that the queen had resumed “a string of engagements” after enduring the loss in April of Prince Philip, her husband of 73 years. She also spent most of 2020 and the early part of 2021 in lockdown at Windsor Castle due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But even with the pandemic, she stayed busy, carrying out 136 engagements in person or virtually over 130 days last year, the Daily Mail reported. Only Princess Anne (with 148 events over 145 days) and Prince Charles (146 events over 141 days) completed more events.
Since returning from her extended summer break at Balmoral, the queen has returned to work, “looking happy and full of enthusiasm,” Nicholl reported. She was due to arrive in Northern Ireland Wednesday, where she was to meet with schoolchildren and other locals in Hillsborough, County Down, the Daily Mail reported.
So far, it looks like she’ll soon resume a busy schedule, traveling to the high-profile COP26 climate change conference in Scotland at the end of the month, the Daily Mail said. She’ll also attend the annual Remembrance Sunday event in November and record her Christmas Day broadcast to the nation, among other commitments.
The queen officially reaches her Platinum Jubilee on Feb. 6, the date when she assumed the throne after the death of her father, King George VI, in 1952, the Daily Mail said. Jubilee celebrations take place over four days in June and will include Trooping the Color.
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Author: Martha Ross