Doctors are concerned about the health of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and recommended the monarch remains under medical supervision, Buckingham Palace said.
The announcement on Thursday came a day after the 96-year-old monarch cancelled a meeting of her Privy Council and was told to rest.
The palace said the queen was “comfortable” and remained at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. The immediate family travelled to be by her side including Prince Charles, heir to the British throne.
The queen, Britain’s longest reigning sovereign and the world’s oldest monarch, has suffered from what Buckingham Palace has called “episodic mobility problems” since the end of last year.
“Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision,” the palace said in a statement.
On Tuesday, the queen presided over the ceremonial handover of power to new Prime Minister Liz Truss at her summer residence in Scotland at Balmoral Castle.
Truss said “the whole country will be deeply concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace this lunchtime”.
“My thoughts – and the thoughts of people across our United Kingdom – are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time,” she said on Twitter.
The whole country will be deeply concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace this lunchtime.
My thoughts – and the thoughts of people across our United Kingdom – are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time.
— Liz Truss (@trussliz) September 8, 2022
Queen Elizabeth II marked seven decades on the throne this year. She has increasingly handed over duties to Prince Charles, 73, and other members of the royal family in recent months as she struggled to get around.
“I’ve been speaking to people in Scotland and we can take it that the queen’s life is coming to an end,” Christopher Wilson, a royal biographer, told Al Jazeera.
“What is remarkable about this sovereign is that she has clung to the crown and to her job to the very last moment. I think we can see that her powers have been declining for the last year. She’s 96 years old and she has done all that she possibly can to retain the strings of power.”
The palace statement about the queen’s health is highly unusual and comes after she has looked visibly frailer in recent months, and a succession of withdrawals from public engagements.
She has taken to walking with the help of a cane and was seen earlier this year at the Chelsea Flower Show touring the site in a motorised buggy.
In February she suffered a bout with COVID, which she admitted afterwards had left her “exhausted”. She spent an unscheduled night in a hospital in central London in October 2021 and was advised to slow down.
All of Queen Elizabeth’s four children including daughter Princess Anne and youngest son Prince Edward are now at Balmoral Castle with the British monarch, ITV reported.
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will travel to Scotland to be with Queen Elizabeth, a spokesperson for the couple said on Thursday.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the highest-ranking cleric in the Church of England that the queen heads, said the queen was in his prayers.
“May God’s presence strengthens and comfort Her Majesty, her family, and those who are caring for her at Balmoral,” he tweeted.