Concerns about Queen Elizabeth II’s health have been sparked after the Buckingham Palace announced that the 96-year-old monarch is “under medical supervision”.
She pulled out of a virtual Privy Council on Wednesday, a day after appointing Liz Truss as PM at her home in the Scottish Highlands.
This is everything you need to know.
Is the Queen ill?
The Queen is under medical supervision at Balmoral with doctors concerned for her health, Buckingham Palace has said.
A Palace spokesperson said: “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 Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”
The Queen’s close family including the Prince of Wales have been informed, with the latest announcement escalating fears for the monarch’s health.
New Prime Minister Liz Truss said “the whole country will be deeply concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace this lunchtime” and added: “My thoughts – and the thoughts of people across our United Kingdom – are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time”.
Why was the Balmoral welcome ceremony cancelled?
The traditional Balmoral welcome ceremony usually see’s the Queen greeting well-wishers at the gates of the castle to mark the beginning of her summer break. During the welcome ceremony, the Queen also inspects a Guard of Honour formed by the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
Each year the Queen travels to the royal residence for a few months of relaxation. She has been at Balmoral since July and is expected to remain in Scotland until some time in October.
Other members of the royal family are also expected to join the Queen during her stay. Last year, she was joined by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
However, this year the Queen has opted to have a “small, private event” instead of the traditional public ceremony.
A royal source reportedly told the Mirror: “The traditional welcome to Balmoral is normally cemented in the Queen’s calendar and something her majesty really enjoys, being able to greet locals who travel to see her.
“It’s a bitter disappointment the ceremony will not take place in its traditional form.”
In response to concerns about the Queen’s mobility issues, Buckingham Palace released a statement explaining that the change in plans came “in line with adapting her majesty’s schedule for her comfort”.
Where is Balmoral Castle?
Balmoral Castle is a royal residence owned by Queen Elizabeth II and is situated in Aberdeenshire, near the village of Crathie.
Unlike the monarch’s official residences, Balmoral is a private property, meaning it isn’t owned by the Crown.
An illustration of the castle features on the back of £100 notes issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland.
How is the Queen’s health?
The Queen’s health has been a topic of much discussion after she postponed a number of engagements following a positive Covid-19 diagnosis earlier this year.
It was announced by Buckingham Palace that she had contracted the virus on Sunday 20 February, after she had been in direct contact with her son and heir, the Prince of Wales, the week he had the disease.
In a statement released at the time, Buckingham Palace said that she was experiencing “mild cold-like symptoms”.
Shortly prior to testing positive for Covid, the Queen was seen with a walking stick during her first in-person engagement of 2022, where she met with the incoming Defence Services Secretary Major General Eldon Millar at Windsor Castle.
In a video clip of the event, after the general asks how the Queen is feeling, she replied: “Well, as you can see, I can’t move”, and gestured to her left leg.
At the end of last year, she also spent a night in a hospital in London for “preliminary investigations”.
At the time, a palace spokesperson said: “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 [on Thursday], and remains in good spirits.”