NI leaders send best wishes to Queen Elizabeth after her first night in hospital since 2013

Leaders from Northern Ireland have sent the Queen their best wishes for a speedy recovery after it was revealed that she had spent her first overnight stay in hospital since 2013.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 5:06 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd October 2021, 5:11 pm

The monarch spent Wednesday night in hospital for preliminary medical checks, Buckingham Palace has said. However the 95-year-old monarch returned from a private hospital in central London at lunchtime on Thursday “in good spirits”, the palace added.

The Queen had cancelled a visit to NI on Wednesday, causing disappointment to her supporters in the Province, many of whom had been looking forward to seeing her participate in a joint church service to mark the Centenary of NI in Armagh. She was given medical advice to rest for a few days after a busy schedule of public engagements.

The Queen had travelled by car to the King Edward VII’s Hospital in Marylebone, about 19 miles from Windsor, where she was seen by specialists. Her admittance is understood not to be related to coronavirus. The overnight stay was said to be for practical reasons rather than medical necessity.

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Queen Elizabeth II after attending the opening ceremony of the sixth session of the Senedd in Cardiff last week. Photo: Jacob King/PA Wire

However she was was back at her desk working following her overnight stay in hospital, the Prime Minister said this afternoon.

Boris Johnson commented on the Queen during a visit to a vaccine centre in west London on Friday, saying: “I think everybody sends Her Majesty our very, very best wishes. And certainly we have from the Government.

“But I’m given to understand that actually Her Majesty is characteristically back at her desk at Windsor as we speak. But we send her every possible good wish.”

A source said the Queen is “resting and undertaking light duties”.

A TV news crew works outside Windsor Castle, Berkshire, after Queen Elizabeth II returned there on Thursday after spending a night in hospital for what a Buckingham Palace spokesman described as "preliminary investigations". Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The Queen’s husband of 73 years, the Duke of Edinburgh, died in April at the age of 99.

Many unionists wished the monarch a speedy recovery today.

DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said: “Her Majesty the Queen is held in the highest esteem by the people from right across the community in Northern Ireland. I look forward to welcoming her back to Northern Ireland in the future, particularly to her visiting Royal Hillsborough. She will continue to be in the thoughts of everyone here as she returns to full strength.”

UUP leader Doug Beattie said that he would like to extend his best wishes to the Queen “for a full and swift recovery”.

King Edward VII's Hospital in London where Queen Elizabeth II spent Wednesday night for what a Buckingham Palace spokesman described as "preliminary investigations". The exclusive clinic in central London has been used for years as a first port of call for ailing members of The Firm, including the late Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

He added: “The Queen has been a tower of strength and an inspiration to the entire United Kingdom as our Head of State for almost 70 years. “Her immense energy and renowned sense of duty mean that even at the age of 95 The Queen has a very punishing schedule. “I trust that she will now get some rest and recuperation and be restored to full health and strength as soon as possible.”

TUV leader Jim Allister said he was saddened to learn of her ill health.

“Like many across the U.K., Commonwealth and indeed the world I will be praying that She makes a full and speedy recovery,” he said. “Having given our nation almost 70 years of service, any period of ill health She suffers is concerning to many but it is good to know that She is now out of hospital and I trust that She will soon be able to resume the official duties which she has performed with such grace and dignity for so long.”

A spokesman for the Orange Order said that the Grand Master Edward Stevenson has formally written to the Queen, on behalf of the Orange Institution and wider Orange Family, to express their best wishes during her period of rest. “Whilst it was disappointing that The Queen had to cancel her planned visit to Northern Ireland on the advice of her doctors, it is reassuring to learn that she is in good spirits,” he said.

“We look forward to welcoming Her Majesty back to this part of her Kingdom at the earliest possible time that she may partake in the CentenNIal celebrations for Northern Ireland.”

Ian Simpson, spokesman for the NI Veterans Association also offered his best wishes on behalf of his members.

“It was with sadness that we learned that her Majesty the Queen would be unable to attend the events, marking Northern Ireland’s centenary,” he said. “On behalf of the Northern Ireland Veterans Association we would send best wishes to Her Majesty and pray for a speedy recovery.”

Church leaders expressed sorrow earlier this week after learning the Queen would not be attending the Armagh service.

“We are very sorry to learn that it will not be possible for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to be present for the Service of Reflection and Hope in Armagh tomorrow,” they said in a statement.

“We wish to convey to Her Majesty our good wishes and, in doing so, to acknowledge the significance of her commitment to the work of peace and reconciliation, which has meant a great deal to people throughout this island.

The statement was signed by Presbyterian Moderator David Bruce, Church of Ireland Primate John McDowell, Catholic Primate Eamon Martin, President of the Irish Council of Churches Ivan Patterson and President of the Methodist Church in Ireland Sahr Yambasu.

The Queen, 95, is known for her strong constitution and no fuss approach to her infrequent illnesses.

The monarch’s overnight stay at King Edward VII’s Hospital is her first in eight years.

She still rides her Fell ponies at Windsor, and drives, mainly around her private estates.

In June 2018, the Queen pulled out of a service at St Paul’s Cathedral as she was feeling “under the weather”.

In May 2018, she had a cataract removed as a day patient but did not cancel any engagements.

Just before Christmas 2016, the Queen and Philip both fell ill with heavy colds, forcing them to delay their trip to Sandringham by a day.

Her first hospital stay in 10 years came in 2013 when she was 86 after she suffered symptoms of gastroenteritis. On March 3 2013, she was admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital to be assessed.

A week of engagements, including a two-day trip to Rome, was cancelled.

Her illnesses have been few over the years. She has suffered from back pain, and also had operations to remove torn cartilage from both knees.

She caught measles when Prince Charles was two months old in 1949 and had to be separated from her baby son.

The first time the Queen was actually admitted to hospital was in July 1982 when she had a wisdom tooth extracted at the King Edward VII Hospital in central London.

In 1994 she broke her left wrist when her horse tripped during a ride on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk. The break was not diagnosed until almost 24 hours later when her arm was X-rayed and set in plaster at a hospital.

It was the first time she had fallen in many years and the Queen had simply brushed herself down, remounted her horse and trotted on back to Sandringham.

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