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Why did Palace cover up the truth about the Queen? Aid workers are accused of misleading the nation


Buckingham Palace was charged yesterday with misleading the nation about the Queen’s health.

Commentators, including the BBC’s royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell, questioned whether the palace had undermined public confidence by failing to reveal that she had been taken to hospital. The 95-year-old monarch was admitted to King Edward VII on Wednesday afternoon and stayed there overnight for tests.

A two-day planned visit to Northern Ireland had to be canceled at the last minute.

The palace communications team told reporters that the Queen had stayed at Windsor Castle.

But on Thursday evening – more than 24 hours later – it confirmed that she had been taken to the private hospital in London.

Buckingham Palace was charged yesterday with misleading the nation about the Queen’s health

Unusually, the royal standard continued to fly at Windsor on Wednesday, even after the Queen left. The flag represents the sovereign and is flown only when present.

A royal source denied that the standard was kept up as part of a cover-up, saying the standard has not moved to every building she visited. The source said Windsor had remained the Queen’s residence despite the overnight journey. Mr Witchell insisted that journalists – and the public – were ‘not getting the full picture’. He added: “The problem seems to me that rumors and misinformation always thrive in the absence of good, accurate and reliable information.”

Peter Hunt, a royal commentator and former BBC journalist, claimed there had been a ‘failed attempt’ to cover up the hospitalization. He said: “The confidence of the media in the truth of royal communications will have been severely tested by the failed attempt to hide the fact that the Queen spent a night in hospital. Buckingham Palace can’t afford a breach of trust, given everything they’re dealing with.’

Palace officials are generally reluctant to release information related to health issues, as the royal family has a right to privacy and medical secrecy.

But updates are usually provided if a senior royal is hospitalized and the monarch’s health is of constitutional importance. As head of state, the queen’s health is subject to intense surveillance, which increases with age.

The revelation that she had to be seen by specialists in hospital – her first overnight stay in eight years – has sparked public concern about her health.

The 95-year-old monarch was admitted to King Edward VII on Wednesday afternoon and stayed there overnight for tests

The 95-year-old monarch was admitted to King Edward VII on Wednesday afternoon and stayed there overnight for tests

Mr Witchell told BBC Breakfast: ‘We have been told she is back at Windsor Castle doing light duty. Well, we must hope we can trust what the palace tells us.’ Royal expert and biographer Ingrid Seward said: ‘They have misled the media. I think they were trying to protect the Queen because she wouldn’t have wanted a fuss, but it was misleading.’

Joe Little, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, added: “The Queen is entitled to some degree of privacy, but on the other hand, she is the head of state.

“So that gives us the right to know exactly what ailments she has or doesn’t have? It’s very difficult to get the balance right for everyone’s satisfaction.’

The Queen was released from hospital on Thursday and is now expected to remain in Windsor, where doctors have told her to rest. Buckingham Palace has not disclosed the nature of the tests carried out on King Edward VII and it is not known whether she will require further investigation or treatment.

She was taken to the hospital by car from Windsor rather than by helicopter, and was expected to stay for a short period while being seen by specialists. The decision to take her in overnight was made for “practical reasons,” a source said.

A royal spokesman said Thursday evening: ‘After medical advice to rest for a few days, the Queen went to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon for some preliminary examinations and returned to Windsor around lunchtime. [on Thursday], and remain in good spirits.’

The day before, there was no mention of a hospital. A senior royal aide argued that the queen had a right to privacy regarding medical matters and that the palace had never made a “running comment” on her health. They insisted that tests and preliminary investigations should be kept private.

And they said if she had gone in for a more serious reason, the audience probably would have been heard. However, in 2018, the Queen had surgery in secret to remove a cataract.

After sitting on the throne for nearly 70 years, the Queen is the world’s longest reigning monarch and has enjoyed mostly healthy health. She has also had a difficult 18 months, including the death of her husband Philip in April and the departure of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.

The Queen was told by doctors to rest after a grueling program, including a big reception on Tuesday in Windsor. A source said future commitments, such as the COP26 climate summit, are still on the agenda, but need to be confirmed by then.

Her office is believed to be waiting for the results of the preliminary tests and will see how the frost feels.


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