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BBC’S Nicholas Witchell hits out at Queen’s health statement | Royal | News

Buckingham Palace’s statement on the Queen’s health has been called into question by BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell. The Palace announced yesterday that the Queen had stayed overnight in hospital on Wednesday for preliminary medical checks, but had returned to Windsor to rest. The 95-year-old monarch fell ill following a reception at Windsor on Tuesday, and at the last minute “reluctantly” accepted medical advice to cancel a trip to Northern Ireland, which had been due to take place this week. 

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Nicholas Witchell said: “Quite difficult to read this, we were led to believe on Wednesday by Buckingham Palace that the Queen was resting at Windsor Castle.

“As we were being told by Buckingham Palace, and of course we were relaying that to our viewers and listeners and newspapers to their readers, in point of fact, she was undergoing what are now being described as preliminary investigations.

“We weren’t given the complete picture then, and one can understand the Palace’s perspective on this, they would say that the Queen is entitled to patient confidentiality, to medical privacy, notwithstanding that she is the head of state and that millions of people in this country and around the world will be concerned.

“The problem it seems to me is that rumour and misinformation always thrives in the absence of proper, accurate and trustworthy information.”

READ MORE: Experts question whether Queen’s health crisis is ‘smokescreen’ – ‘Political hot potato’

On Thursday evening, the Palace released a statement to say: “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 Queen had travelled by car to the King Edward VII’s Hospital in Marylebone, the private hospital which is frequently used by senior royals. 

It is understood that her admittance is not related to Covid-19, and her overnight stay was due to practical reasons.

This is the first time for the Queen to remain in hospital since 2013, after she began suffering symptoms of gastroenteritis.

“We were told that there were preliminary investigations taking place, that would suggest that after preliminary investigations, there may be some further subsequent investigations.

“We are told that she is in ‘good spirits’, that would certainly be in line with her stoical character, but that phrase is a little bit of a cliche now.

“We are told that she’s back in Windsor Castle undertaking light duties – well we must hope we can place reliance on what the Palace is telling us.”

In recent weeks, the Queen has maintained a busy schedule of engagements, travelling to both Cardiff and Edinburgh and hosting a reception for international business leaders at Windsor. 

She was also pictured using a walking stick for the first time in 17 years, which she is reportedly using as a source of “comfort” rather than any particular medical necessity.

In two weeks, she is expected to join other senior members of the Royal Family at Glasgow for the COP26 climate summit, where she will greet world leaders and host a diplomatic reception. 

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