Queen health: Royals rush to Her Majesty’s bedside

A RAF jet carrying Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, has touched down in Scotland as they race to be at the Queen’s bedside to join a vigil led by Prince Charles and Princess Anne.

Her Majesty’s children and grandchildren have rushed to Balmoral after doctors revealed they are ‘concerned’ for the monarch’s health and are keeping her under medical supervision. But Prince Harry is travelling to Aberdeenshire without his wife Meghan Markle, who is staying at Frogmore Cottage.

In an unprecedented statement about the 96-year-old’s health, Buckingham Palace described the Queen as ‘comfortable’ after her doctors examined her this morning, hours after she was advised to rest instead of attending a meeting of the Privy Council on Zoom last night. 

A royal spokesman 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.’ 

Prince Charles, Camilla and Princess Anne are believed to be with the Queen, whose health appears to have worsened this morning. The heir to the throne, seen carrying a briefcase, took a royal helicopter to Balmoral from Dumfries House with his wife this morning. Anne was already at Balmoral after an engagement this week.

At 4pm a jet from RAF Northolt in London to Aberdeen landed carrying the Duke of York, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and his wife Sophie, who filed off the plane led by Prince William. Their convoy of cars arrived at Balmoral at 5pm.

Prince Harry was not on board but is believed to be on his way to Balmoral, separately from other royals. It is understood Meghan will remain in London, but will not attend the WellChild awards as planned. The duchess could potentially join Harry in Scotland at a later date, a source said, following a change of plan where it was initially suggested Meghan would go north with her husband.

And Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, has stayed behind and was spotted in Windsor driving to pick up George, Charlotte and Louis after they first full day at their new school.

Prince William drives Prince Andrew, Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward into Balmoral 

Prince Charles boards a helicopter from Dumfries House to Balmoral this morning as the Queen's children gather at her bedside after a warning from doctors about her health

Prince Charles boards a helicopter from Dumfries House to Balmoral this morning as the Queen’s children gather at her bedside after a warning from doctors about her health

Prince William led the way off the plane (circled left) followed by Edward and Sophie (pictured centre) and finally Prince Andrew (pictured right)

Prince William led the way off the plane (circled left) followed by Edward and Sophie (pictured centre) and finally Prince Andrew (pictured right)

Prince William gets off the plane in Aberdeen today as members of the Royal Family gather at Balmoral after a warning from the Queen's doctors about her health

Prince William gets off the plane in Aberdeen today as members of the Royal Family gather at Balmoral after a warning from the Queen’s doctors about her health

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and her husband Prince Edward followed Prince William off the plane

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and her husband Prince Edward followed Prince William off the plane

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The Queen waits in the Drawing Room before receiving Liz Truss for an audience at Balmoral, Scotland on Tuesday. Today she is under the supervision of doctors amid concerns about her health

The plane carrying the Queen's children and grandchildren land in Aberdeen - the nearest airport to Balmoral

The plane carrying the Queen’s children and grandchildren land in Aberdeen – the nearest airport to Balmoral

A Royal flight taking family members to Balmoral takes off from RAF Northolt in London this afternoon

A Royal flight taking family members to Balmoral takes off from RAF Northolt in London this afternoon

Members of the Royal Family and their aides board a RAF jet for Aberdeen to get to the Queen's side amid concerns for her health

Members of the Royal Family and their aides board a RAF jet for Aberdeen to get to the Queen’s side amid concerns for her health

One of the Royal Family's helicopters has landed at Balmoral. Charles and Camilla are believed to be there with William on his way from Windsor. Prince Andrew and Princess Anne are both expected

One of the Royal Family’s helicopters has landed at Balmoral. Charles and Camilla are believed to be there with William on his way from Windsor. Prince Andrew and Princess Anne are both expected

Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge, leaves Windsor Castle as she stayed behind in England where her three children are having their first day at school

Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge, leaves Windsor Castle as she stayed behind in England where her three children are having their first day at school

A statement about the Queen's health is exceptionally rare and raises major concerns

A statement about the Queen’s health is exceptionally rare and raises major concerns 

Prince Harry travels to Balmoral ALONE ‘after change of plan’ sees Meghan Markle stay behind in London 

Prince Harry is headed to Balmoral alone without his wife Meghan amid reports of his grandmother The Queen’s worsening health.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had been due to attend the Wellchild Awards in London this evening but it is confirmed they have cancelled their appearance. The prince was expected to make a speech at tonight’s awards, which honours the brave deeds of seriously ill children. 

It is understood Meghan will remain in London, but will not attend the WellChild awards. The duchess could potentially join Harry in Scotland at a later date, the source said, following the change of plan.

Harry and Meghan had not been expected to see any other members of the Royal Family during their visit from California this week.

PM: ‘The whole country will be deeply concerned about Her Majesty’

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Prime Minister Liz 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.’

Her ‘immediate family’ were informed, Buckingham Palace revealed, with her heir, the Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, rushing to her bedside from their Scottish home Dumfries House in Ayrshire by helicopter.

The Duke of Cambridge flew up from Windsor to be with the 96-year-old monarch. 

But his wife Kate remains at Adelaide Cottage because George, Charlotte and Louis are having their first full day at school today.

The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, was already at Balmoral after an engagement in Scotland this week. 

The Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex flew up with William this afternoon.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were scheduled to attend the WellChild Awards in London this evening but the couple have changed their plans at the 11th hour.

 and are heading to Aberdeenshire, their spokesman confirmed, as millions of Britons and Her Majesty’s subjects around the world pray for her recovery.

A statement about the monarch’s health is exceptionally rare and suggests the situation is very serious. And experts said it is all the more worrying because all her children – and Prince William and Prince Harry – are either already by her side or en route.

Royal biographer Nigel Cawthorne said: ‘It leads us to believe the situation is much more serious than we’ve been told’.

And worried Britons have already gathered at the gates of Balmoral to pray for Her Majesty and pay their respects.

Minutes before the Buckingham Palace statement, the new Prime Minister Liz Truss was handed a note in the Commons informing her of the development as she was revealing her plans to cap energy bills for the next two years.

Ms Truss, who was at Balmoral with the Queen on Tuesday when she became PM, said ‘the whole country will be deeply concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace this lunchtime’ adding ‘my thoughts – and the thoughts of people across our United Kingdom – are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time’. 

Yesterday the Queen was forced to postpone a Privy Council meeting at the last minute on doctors’ advice.  Following a busy day on Tuesday, during which she greeted both Boris Johnson and Liz Truss at Balmoral, as well as undertaking other light duties, the 96-year-old monarch has been told to rest.

And today Buckingham Palace revealed that doctors have been brought to Balmoral after concerns this morning.

Charles was said to have been making regular morning visits to see his mother this summer as she continued to struggle with her mobility, with the unplanned visits considered highly unusual. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said the ‘prayers of the nation’ are with the Queen, the head of the Church of England. ‘My prayers, and the prayers of people across the (Church of England) and the nation, are with Her Majesty The Queen today,’ Justin Welby tweeted.

‘May God’s presence strengthen and comfort Her Majesty, her family, and those who are caring for her at Balmoral.’

She had been due to hold the Privy Council virtually yesterday evening, during which the new Prime Minister would have taken her oath as First Lord of the Treasury and Cabinet ministers would have been sworn into their roles and made privy counsellors, if not already appointed as one in the past.

People gather outside Balmoral Castle following the statement from Buckingham Palace

People gather outside Balmoral Castle following the statement from Buckingham Palace

Members of the public outside the gates of Buckingham Palace in the September rain

Members of the public outside the gates of Buckingham Palace in the September rain

A sign noting the cancellation of today's guard changing ceremony at Buckingham Palace

A sign noting the cancellation of today’s guard changing ceremony at Buckingham Palace

 

The moment Nadhim Zahawi briefed Liz Truss about the Queen in the Commons today just before news about  her health emerged

The moment Nadhim Zahawi briefed Liz Truss about the Queen in the Commons today just before news about  her health emerged

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Prince Charles today at a roundtable with attendees of the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation yesterday. Today Charles is at Balmoral

Prince William, pictured with his wife and children on their first day at Lambrook School yesterday, is also heading to Scotland

Prince William, pictured with his wife and children on their first day at Lambrook School yesterday, is also heading to Scotland

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, pictured in Germany this week, are heading to Scotland

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, pictured in Germany this week, are heading to Scotland

Her Majesty is at her Scottish home (pictured today) and is described as 'comfortable' by her staff

Her Majesty is at her Scottish home (pictured today) and is described as ‘comfortable’ by her staff

How the Queen’s health has suffered since the death of Prince Philip 

The Queen holds a walking stick as she attends the Royal Company of Archers Reddendo Parade in the gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in June

The Queen holds a walking stick as she attends the Royal Company of Archers Reddendo Parade in the gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in June

The Queen’s health has been scrutinised over the past year, with the monarch having to pull out of key events due to ongoing mobility issues.

She thrilled crowds on the first day of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations on June 2 when she appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony and later at Windsor Castle. 

But the next day she pulled out of the Platinum Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral after experiencing ‘discomfort’ during the previous day’s celebrations. The decision was considered regrettable, it is understood, but sensible due to the length of the journey and time involved and the physical demands the event would have required.

While she made a number of in-person visits in the weeks leading up to her Jubilee celebrations, including a surprise visit to open the Elizabeth line and to tour the Chelsea Flower Show using a golf buggy, the Queen has faced ongoing ‘episodic mobility problems’ stretching back to last autumn and now uses a walking stick.

In October 2021, she used a walking stick at a Westminster Abbey service – the first time she had done so at a major engagement. A week later, after a busy autumn programme, she was ordered to rest by her doctors and advised to cancel a trip to Northern Ireland.

The Queen was secretly admitted to hospital for ‘preliminary investigations’ and had her first overnight stay in hospital for eight years on October 20, 2021. The next day she was back at her desk at Windsor, carrying out light duties.

But concern for her health mounted when she pulled out of more high-profile engagements, including the Cop26 climate change summit and the Festival of Remembrance, with Buckingham Palace saying she had been advised to continue to rest and not carry out any official visits. She was intent on attending the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph, but missed this due to a sprained back.

For more than three months she carried out only light duties, including virtual and face-to-face audiences in the confines of Windsor Castle.

In February 2022, she celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, meeting charity workers at Sandringham House and cutting a Jubilee cake in what was her largest in-person public engagement since October.

Many of her duties are now carried out via video calls, and the country’s longest-reigning sovereign remarked during a in-person audience in February: ‘Well, as you can see, I can’t move.’

There were fears for her health when she caught Covid, testing positive on February 20, 2022. The triple-vaccinated Queen suffered from mild cold-like symptoms but said the virus left her ‘very tired and exhausted’. She carried on with light duties while self-isolating at Windsor but cancelled some virtual audiences.

She pulled out of the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in March, a significant date in the royal calendar given the importance to her of the family of nations, and did not attend the Maundy Thursday service. But she rallied to honour the Duke of Edinburgh at a memorial service at the end of March, walking slowly and carefully with the aid of a stick, and holding on to the Duke of York’s elbow for support.

In May 2022, she missed the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in nearly 60 years, with Buckingham Palace attributing her absence to ‘episodic mobility problems’. The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge opened parliament on her behalf as Counsellors of State, with Charles reading the Queen’s Speech for a historic first time.

Much has changed in the past seven months, with Buckingham Palace mostly only confirming the Queen’s attendance at engagements on the day, with the decision dependent on how she is feeling in the morning. She did go to the Windsor Horse Show in May and she was also the guest of honour at the equestrian extravaganza A Gallop Through History near Windsor, the first major event of the Jubilee festivities.

She also made a surprise appearance to officially open the Elizabeth line at Paddington Station, looking bright and cheery, though her visit was limited to 10 minutes. She also turned up at the Chelsea Flower Show and was driven around the floral extravaganza in her new hi-tech golf buggy for her comfort.

There had been a flurry of activity in the Commons this lunchtime as concerns about the Queen were raised to the Prime Minister. Nadhim Zahawi had handed her a note, which she read and put in

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle interrupted the speech of SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford during the energy debate to tell MPs: ‘I know I speak on behalf of the entire House when I say that we send our best wishes to Her Majesty the Queen and that she and the royal family are in our thoughts and prayers at this moment.’ He added: ‘If there is anything else, we will update the House accordingly.’ 

The royal family’s website appeared to crash following the news of the Queen’s health concerns. An error message appeared on screen reading: ‘Gateway time-out’. 

SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford said he was ‘saddened’ to hear the announcement made about the Queen’s health.

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle interrupted Mr Blackford’s speech in the energy debate to say the House sends its best wishes to the Queen.

Resuming his speech, Mr Blackford told the Commons: ‘I’m sure on behalf of all colleagues that we’re saddened to hear the announcement that has been made, and the thoughts and prayers of all of us will be with Her Majesty the Queen and indeed with the royal family.’

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: ‘All of us are feeling profoundly concerned at reports of Her Majesty’s health.

‘My thoughts and wishes are with the Queen and all of the royal family at this time.’

It comes after a string of health problems for the increasingly frail sovereign, who was advised not to travel to London from her Highland home this week to accept the resignation of her outgoing Prime Minister and appoint Miss Truss.

It was the first time in her 70-year reign that the Queen has appointed a Prime Minister at Balmoral.

The two politicians made the 1,000-mile round trip from London rather than making the Queen, who has suffered episodic mobility problems since October, travel back from Scotland.

Buckingham Palace said there were no constitutional issues with the delay to proceedings, which will be re-arranged, and that the decision to encourage Her Majesty to rest has not involved a hospital stay.

But the decision to postpone the virtual meeting will, inevitably, cause renewed concern for the Queen’s health.

A Palace spokesman said last night: ‘After a full day yesterday, Her Majesty has this afternoon accepted doctors’ advice to rest.

‘This means that the Privy Council meeting that had been due to take place this evening will be rearranged.’

The Queen was pictured on Tuesday smiling and alert, but still frail, using a stick and sporting extensive bruising on her hands as the inevitable result of her advancing years.

It was the first time she had been seen in public for 47 days, while enjoying her well-earned annual break on Royal Deeside. As well as meeting Mr Johnson and Miss Truss on Tuesday, the Queen also had another duty afterwards: Investing her outgoing communications secretary Donal McCabe with the Insignia of a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order – an honour in the monarch’s personal gift for service to the Royal Family.

She also dealt with several red boxes of papers, while a number of guests were seen leaving the castle before the first audiences began. The Queen often has family members and friends to stay during her annual holiday and is said to have been ‘inundated’ with company this year – although, notably, not her grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, who are in the UK briefly on a visit from California.

Well-placed sources have repeatedly said that the monarch is ‘old, not ill’, and one person who saw her recently described her as being ‘on excellent form’. But last week she chose not to attend another staple of the royal calendar, the Braemar Gathering – the most famous event from the Highland Games circuit.

Meanwhile, earlier in the year the Prince of Wales stood in for her at the State Opening of Parliament.

She secretly spent a night in hospital last October undergoing tests and was then under doctors’ orders to rest for the next three months, missing the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph service in London and Cop26 climate change talks in Glasgow.

The Queen, who lost Prince Philip – her husband of 73 years – in April last year, then caught Covid in February and suffered from mild cold-like symptoms but said the virus left her ‘very tired and exhausted’.

As the nation’s longest-reigning monarch she was, however, able to make two short appearances at her Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.

The Queen invites Liz Truss to become Prime Minister and form a new government as they meet at Balmoralon Tuesday

The Queen invites Liz Truss to become Prime Minister and form a new government as they meet at Balmoralon Tuesday 

Queen Elizabeth II leans on a walking stick as she welcomes Liz Truss during an audience at Balmoral in Scotland on Tuesday

Queen Elizabeth II leans on a walking stick as she welcomes Liz Truss during an audience at Balmoral in Scotland on Tuesday

On Tuesday, the Queen received an outpouring of love on social media after the Royal Family released images of her receiving Liz Truss at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where she invited the newly-elected leader of the Conservative Party to become prime minister. 

The smiling head of state looked bright but frail and used a walking stick during the audience, which followed a visit from outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson as he tendered his resignation.

It was the first time in her 70-year reign that the Queen has appointed a Prime Minister at Balmoral. It was also the first time Her Majesty has been pictured since she was seen arriving at the estate on July 21 for her summer holiday.

The two politicians made the 1,000 round trip from London, rather than making the monarch, who has suffered episodic mobility problems since last October, travel back from Scotland.

With her hair neatly curled, the monarch, dressed in a blouse, cardigan and a Balmoral tartan skirt, stood as she met Ms Truss. 

Some observers noticed that Her Majesty’s right hand appeared bruised or purple in photographs of their meeting.

But many social media users voiced their support for the monarch, commenting on how well she had presented herself and paying their respects to the incredible length of her reign which has now spanned the terms of 15 prime ministers, including Truss. 

The Queen is on her summer break on the Balmoral estate, and not due to return until early October.

Yesterday Mr Johnson arrived at around 11.16am and left around 39 minutes later at 11.55am, while Ms Truss arrived at 12.22pm and departed around 33 minutes later at 12.55pm.

The Queen also had another duty afterwards recorded in the Court Circular.

She invested her Communications Secretary Donal McCabe with the Insignia of a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO), an honour in the monarch’s personal gift for service to the royal family.

A number of guests was also seen leaving the castle before the first audiences began. The Queen often has family members and friends to stay during her annual holiday.

The Sun reported recently that the Prince of Wales had been making regular morning visits to see his mother as she continues to struggle with her mobility, with the unplanned visits considered highly unusual.

She missed the Braemar Gathering highland games last weekend, which she usually attends each year, for her ‘comfort’.

Royal sources confirmed that there were two main issues in terms of the Queen’s attendance – firstly getting her to the games, but also that she would have to sit in public for a long period of time to watch them. 

The decision prompted fresh fears about the Queen’s health, just two days after Buckingham Palace said she would remain in Scotland to appoint a new prime minister at Balmoral for the first time in her reign. 

Until now, the Queen has never missed the Highland Games during her 70-year reign, following a tradition of the monarch attending which was started by Queen Victoria 174 years ago in 1848. The event is held a short distance from where Her Majesty is staying on her annual summer at the Balmoral Castle estate in Aberdeenshire. 

And the monarch also remained at home instead of attending the traditional Sunday church service at Balmoral on Sunday.

Prince Charles cut a lonely figure as he was spotted without Her Majesty at the weekly service at Crathie Kirk. The monarch was a regular attendee at the small church while staying at the royal estate in previous year.

Buckingham Palace has declined to give an ongoing commentary on the monarch’s health.

During her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the Queen only travelled to Buckingham Palace twice, first for her Trooping the Colour balcony appearance and then for a finale after the pageant.

She spends most of her time at Windsor Castle, 22 miles from central London, living there during the pandemic and while major renovations take place at the Palace, and for her comfort.

She secretly spent a night in hospital in October undergoing tests and was then under doctors’ orders to rest for the next three months, missing the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph service and Cop26 climate change talks.

The Queen caught Covid in February, and suffered from mild cold-like symptoms but said the virus left her ‘very tired and exhausted’.

Moment Nadhim Zahawi passed note to Liz Truss about the Queen’s health as she unveiled her energy plan to the Commons before Keir Starmer was also told by Angela Rayner 

This is the moment Nadhim Zahawi passed a note to Liz Truss about concerns over the Queen’s health in the House of Commons.

The Prime Minister had unveiled her energy plan to MPs just minutes before news that the monarch was under medical supervision broke.

Mr Zahawi, who was just this week appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – the portfolio of land, property and assets held by the Queen, was tasked with informing the premier and was seen briefing her on the front bench for several minutes before leaving the chamber.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was also told of developments by his deputy Angela Rayner. 

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle told MPs: ‘I know I speak on behalf of the entire House when I say that we send our best wishes to Her Majesty the Queen and that she and the royal family are in our thoughts and prayers at this moment.’ 

Buckingham Palace made the announcement earlier this afternoon, as Prince Charles, Camilla and Prince William raced to Balmoral to be with her.

The Queen waits in the Drawing Room before receiving Liz Truss for an audience at Balmoral, Scotland on Tuesday. Today she is under the supervision of doctors amid concerns about her health

The Queen waits in the Drawing Room before receiving Liz Truss for an audience at Balmoral, Scotland on Tuesday. Today she is under the supervision of doctors amid concerns about her health

Mr Zahawi, who was just this week appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the portfolio of land, property and assets held by the Queen, was tasked with informing the premier and was seen briefing her on the front bench for several minutes before leaving

Mr Zahawi, who was just this week appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the portfolio of land, property and assets held by the Queen, was tasked with informing the premier and was seen briefing her on the front bench for several minutes before leaving

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