Why Did the Palace Initially Keep the Queen’s Hospital Stay A Secret?
When Buckingham Palace announced last Wednesday that Queen Elizabeth would forgo a trip to Northern Ireland due to medical advice, it wasn’t necessarily a cause for alarm. She had hosted world leaders for a Windsor Castle reception Tuesday night and was even spotted in a car with her dogs soon after the announcement was made. It wasn’t until the next day, when the Sun broke the news that the Queen had spent Wednesday night at the King Edward VIII hospital in London, that a bit of panic set in for royal watchers around the world.
In a statement Thursday night, the palace confirmed that the queen made her visit, but did not provide any more information about the state of her health. “Following medical advice to rest for a few days, the Queen attended hospital on Wednesday afternoon for some preliminary investigations, returning to Windsor Castle at lunchtime today, and remains in good spirits,” it read.
The BBC later noted that the queen visited the hospital for “practical reasons,” and underwent testing and meetings with specialists while she was there, adding that she had returned to work at Windsor Castle by Thursday afternoon.
Absent any more official information on her status, royal insiders have been coming forward to discuss the queen’s health and her plans to get back on her feet. First, the Sun noted that the queen had skipped her church service that morning, and spoke to insiders who said she was resting in order to be at her best for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow next week.
The Sunday Times spoke to royal sources who offered a few different explanations for her hospitalization, including a busy engagement schedule and her propensity for staying up late to watch TV, including Emma Raducanu’s win at the U.S. Open last month, leaving her “knackered.” Another royal source said that the queen also has a busy social schedule in the aftermath of Prince Philip’s death, with “a constant flow of lunches and dinners with family and friends, because the Queen does not want to dine alone.” One source close to the queen assured the newspaper that “she is fine, but she needs the rest—she is saving her energy for [COP26].”
According to the Telegraph, other members of the royal family are planning to step up to support the queen, perhaps by doubling up on events with her children and grandchildren to minimize disappointment in case her health forces her to change her plans. This year she has gone on multiple joint engagements with Prince Charles, and a source close to Prince William and Kate Middleton said the pair are also willing to step in. “If there is any way they can support Her Majesty on her engagements, they will,” the source told the Telegraph. “They are both keen to provide any support they can.”
When reached by the Times, another royal source declined to comment on the claims that the royals will undertake more joint engagements, adding that “it’s not uncommon for Her Majesty to be accompanied by family members.”
It’s not unusual for the palace to stay mum about the queen’s private medical information, but their decision not to inform the press about her night at the hospital—which is thought to be only her fifth in the last four decades—until after the fact did alarm some journalists The queen’s last hospital stay came in 2013, when she was treated at the same hospital for a stomach bug.
Though some royal insiders denied that the palace had intentionally engaged in a “cover up,” according to the Sun, others pointed out that the omission might reflect the queen’s disinclination to call attention to herself. “They did mislead the media,” said Ingrid Seward, editor of Majesty magazine. “I think they were trying to protect the Queen, because she would not have wanted a fuss, but it was misleading.”
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Published at Mon, 25 Oct 2021 19:37:46 +0000