The 95-year-old queen took two virtual appointments from Windsor Castle, meeting with Gunn Kim, the Korean ambassador to Britain, and Markus Leitner, the Swiss ambassador to the United Kingdom.
The engagements were the queen’s first scheduled meetings since Oct. 19, when she hosted a reception for the Global Investment Summit at Windsor Castle. She spent part of the following day in the hospital for what a spokesperson described as “preliminary investigations.”
The queen had planned to visit Northern Ireland last Wednesday and Thursday, but the palace announced at the last minute that the trip had been canceled, saying Elizabeth had “reluctantly accepted medical advice to rest for the next few days.”
It wasn’t until The Sun broke the news of the monarch’s hospitalization that the palace acknowledged she underwent “preliminary investigations” following the cancelation of the trip.
“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,” the spokesperson said. The palace didn’t elaborate.
Nicholas Witchell, the BBC’s royal correspondent, questioned the palace’s disclosures about the queen’s health. He said on BBC “Breakfast” last week that the media “was led to believe” that the queen was resting at Windsor Castle, when she was really in the hospital.
“So, we weren’t given the complete picture then. And one can understand the palace’s perspective on this,” Witchell said. “They would say that the queen is entitled to patient confidentiality, to medical privacy and that sort of thing, notwithstanding that she is the head of state and that millions of people in this country and around the world will be concerned.”
Witchell added that because reporters “weren’t given the complete picture,” the palace’s reassurance that the queen was “back at Windsor Castle undertaking light duties” and “in good spirits” is subject to question.
“That would certainly be in line with her stoical character, but that’s a phrase that’s a little bit of a cliche now,” Witchell said. “We must hope that we can place reliance on what the palace is telling us.”
It is still unclear if the monarch will attend the United Nations climate change conference, COP26, on Nov. 1.
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