London (CNN) – It is rare for Queen Elizabeth II to miss an engagement, so when she does, the immediate question for many here in the UK is: “How serious is it?”
This Wednesday, Elizabeth II made a last minute call to cancel a trip to Northern Ireland to commemorate 100 years since the partition of the island of Ireland.
The palace acted quickly to assuage our concerns about the monarch’s health. The fears were immediately allayed when a source close to the palace told CNN that he was in a “good mood” and pointed us to images from the previous day, when the queen hosted a reception for business leaders, including Bill Gates, in Windsor.
A source told CNN that the queen was resting at Windsor Castle.
However, on Thursday night the British tabloid The Sun reported that he had spent the night in the hospital and the palace was forced to confirm that was true.
“On medical advice to rest for a few days, the queen attended the hospital on Wednesday afternoon for some preliminary examinations, returning to Windsor Castle at lunchtime today, and remains in good spirits,” said a palace spokesman. it’s a statement.
A Buckingham Palace source told CNN that the overnight stay was for practical reasons and was not announced at the time as the monarch has a right to medical privacy. By Thursday afternoon, he was back in his office doing light tasks, they told us. And on Friday morning a source reported that the queen was still resting at Windsor.
The palace is trying to manage the information it publishes, to prevent people from worrying too much, but some may wonder if the whole truth is being told to them.
Another question that many are asking is whether the 95-year-old monarch is overindulging at work, with all the public commitments and obligations that she fulfills.
There is no doubt that the queen remains fully dedicated to her work, but we have also been reminded of her relentless approach to her duties despite her advanced age. Earlier this week, she declined the honor of being named “Old Woman of the Year” by a British magazine, saying she did not meet “the relevant criteria.” He “politely but firmly” declined the award through his deputy private secretary with “best wishes.”
“Her Majesty believes that you are as old as you feel, as such the Queen does not believe that you meet the relevant criteria to be able to accept, and hopes that you will find a more worthy recipient,” Tom Laing-Baker said in a letter.
And just last week we highlighted the queen’s decision to use a cane in public for the first time “for convenience.”
Following the moves since her return from Scotland, where she traditionally spends summers, the Queen attended the opening of the Scottish Parliament on October 2 before heading south to Windsor. In the past two weeks, he has attended various engagements and investiture there and in London, as well as heading to Cardiff to participate in the opening ceremony of the Welsh Parliament. All this illustrates that the queen does not seem to slow down her ceremonial responsibilities, even at 95 years of age.
Isabel is no longer touring long-term abroad and has handed over some responsibilities to other family members, but continues to travel extensively in the UK. By our most conservative estimate, the queen traveled over 1,000 kilometers between October 1 and October 19. That’s a lot for any older person.
A busy month for the monarch
Let’s also look at the palace’s initial statement on the decision not to travel to Northern Ireland, with a rather revealing wording.
It said that the queen had “reluctantly accepted” the medical advice to rest for a few days. In other words, he wanted to continue, but the royal doctor ordered him to stay home.
In reality, the queen has reduced her commitments to focus on her main constitutional obligations as head of state, such as opening parliaments and hearings with the prime minister and new ambassadors to the UK.
If he kept the crown but started handing over the ceremonial part of the job to his son Prince Charles, it would start to look like a regency. And the queen has never suggested that she abdicate. At age 20, he vowed to serve his entire life and has reiterated this at every jubilee celebration.
In your golden years, there may come a time when you are physically unable to attend all the events that you feel you should attend in person. Time will tell how you decide to manage your busy schedule. This could be the beginning of a new testing phase for Elizabeth, which she might be reflecting on as she unwittingly takes refuge in Windsor Castle for the next few days.
– CNN’s David Wilkinson contributed to this report.