Queen Elizabeth II tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday and is suffering from mild, cold-like symptoms, according to Buckingham Palace, but she intends to continue working. The news provoked outpourings of worry and best wishes for the notoriously stoic 95-year-old from across the political spectrum in the United Kingdom.
The queen, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and a fixture in the country’s life, celebrated her 70th year on the throne on Feb. 6, the anniversary of her father, King George VI’s, death in 1952. On April 21, she will turn 96 years old.
The queen, who has been properly vaccinated and given a booster injection, will continue with “light” activities at Windsor Castle during the next week, according to the palace.
In a statement, the palace added, “She will continue to receive medical treatment and will follow all proper guidelines.”
People in the United Kingdom who test positive for COVID-19 must now self-isolate for at least five days, however the British government says it will eliminate the condition this week.
Prince Charles, the queen’s eldest son, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the queen’s 74-year-old daughter-in-law, both contracted COVID-19 earlier this month. Since then, Charles has returned to work. Several recent viral cases have also been reported among personnel at Windsor Castle, where the queen is staying.
The queen would most certainly be treated with one of many antiviral medications licensed in the United Kingdom to treat COVID-19, according to Paul Hunter, an infectious diseases expert at the University of East Anglia.
“If you receive them early enough, you can lessen the likelihood of serious illness developing,” he added. “I would expect any clinician treating a patient in their 90s would consider providing these antivirals.”
On Sunday, a slew of leading British lawmakers sent get-well greetings. “I’m sure I speak for everyone in wishing Her Majesty The Queen a fast recovery from COVID and a rapid return to bright good health,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted.
Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, commented, “Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a rapid recovery,” while Keir Starmer, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, wished the queen “well health and a swift recovery.” “Ma’am, get well soon.”
Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, also expressed his condolences. “We wish her a speedy recovery, and few individuals are more resilient than Her Majesty.” Morrison said Monday, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, “She has proved that over a long lifetime.”
Elizabeth has been in good health for the most of her reign, and she was recently pictured riding a horse. She has been seen using a walking stick in recent months, and in October she spent the night in a London hospital for unclear testing.
Following that, the queen’s physicians advised her to rest, and she had to forego appearances at a number of important events, including Remembrance Sunday services and the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland in November.
She resumed public responsibilities last month, holding virtual and in-person sessions with diplomats, legislators, and top military personnel. She walked slowly with a stick and remarked “as you can see I can’t move” in apparent reference to her leg during one encounter recorded on tape last week.
Early in the epidemic in 2020, the queen issued two televised statements to the country and has endeavored to lead by example. She made it known that she had been vaccinated, and due to coronavirus limitations, she sat alone for the funeral of her 72-year-old husband, Prince Philip.
Members of the royal family, according to Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, are probably more concerned than the queen about her condition.
“I would assume she’ll be matter-of-fact about the diagnosis in a manner that the others around her aren’t,” he added.
The queen has a packed agenda for the remainder of her Platinum Jubilee year, including a diplomatic reception at Windsor on March 2 and the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on March 14.
She has a memory ceremony for Philip, who died in April 2021 at the age of 99, on March 29 at Westminster Abbey.
The Platinum Jubilee will be celebrated in public during a long weekend from June 2 to 5, with events including a military parade, a day of horse racing, and neighborhood gatherings.
The queen is the world’s most recent royal to contract COVID-19. Both Denmark’s Queen Margrethe, 82, and Spain’s King Felipe VI, 54, exhibited moderate symptoms when they tested positive for the sickness in February.
Her diagnosis comes after a trying week for the royal family of the United Kingdom.
Prince Andrew, the queen’s second son, settled a case filed in the United States by a woman who alleged he sexually assaulted her when she was 17 and traveling with the late billionaire and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Virginia Giuffre’s assertion was vehemently refuted by Andrew. He agreed to make a significant payment to his accuser’s charity as part of a settlement.
The Metropolitan Police Service in London opened an inquiry on Wednesday into accusations that persons connected to one of Prince Charles’ charities tried to assist a Saudi businessman gain honors and citizenship in exchange for money.