The monarch tested positive for Covid in February and, despite having what Buckingham Palace said were “mild cold-like symptoms”, was determined to carry out what duties she could.
She later overcame her bout of the virus and described the experience during a virtual visit to the Royal London Hospital on Wednesday, to mark the official opening of the medical institution’s Queen Elizabeth Unit.
During her video call with workers and medical staff, the Queen listened to their stories of coping with the huge influx of Covid patients.
Around 800 people from across north-east London were treated at the 155-bed Queen Elizabeth Unit, built in five weeks to meet the demand instead of the normal time period of five months, and the Queen hailed the Dunkirk spirit that inspired the construction team.
Speaking to former Covid patient Asef Hussain, and his wife Shamina, the Queen said about the virus: “It does leave one very tired and exhausted, doesn’t it? This horrible pandemic. It’s not a nice result.”
Mr Hussain was the third member of his family to be admitted to hospital with Covid after they became ill towards the end of December 2020. His brother died first and then his father, who passed away while Mr Hussain was on a ventilator.
Mrs Hussain told the Queen at one point there were 500 friends and family from across the world on a Zoom call praying for her husband, and the monarch lightened the mood and made the couple smile when she asked: “So you have a large family, or a large influence on people?”