The Queen is planning to continue working at Windsor Castle after testing positive for coronavirus.
Buckingham Palace confirmed she had COVID-19 yesterday – and Sky News has been told “a number of cases have been diagnosed within the Windsor Castle team”.
Hours after the announcement was made, Her Majesty sent a message of congratulations to the Team GB women’s curling team after they won a gold medal at the Winter Olympics.
The 95-year-old monarch is said to be experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms and intends to carry out “light duties” during her recovery.
She is believed to be triple vaccinated, and doctors expect that a team of royal physicians will now be making anti-viral treatments available to her.
Professor Sir Huw Thomas, head of the Medical Household and Physician to the Queen, is expected to be in charge.
It comes as Boris Johnson prepares to unveil England’s plan for “living with COVID” at a news conference tonight.
A number of measures are being considered, with Downing Street confirming that those who test positive for coronavirus will no longer have to self-isolate by the end of this week.
Yesterday, the prime minister tweeted: “I’m sure I speak for everyone in wishing Her Majesty The Queen a swift recovery from COVID and a rapid return to vibrant good health.”
Dr David Nicholl, a leading neurologist, says vaccines have made a “jaw-dropping difference” to the impact that COVID-19 has on elderly people.
While he does not know the Queen’s full medical background, he added: “I would expect she is going to make a full recovery.
“I would say, for someone who is fully vaccinated, boosted, they are most likely to have a very mild illness – a bit of a cold and that’s it sort of thing.
“It’s difficult because if someone is elderly, the age of 95 or so, people can get other things.”
The Queen has recently suffered from health difficulties. On Wednesday, the monarch was seen standing with the help of a walking stick – and remarked during an in-person audience: “Well, as you can see, I can’t move.”
Sky News royal commentator Alastair Bruce said the Queen is “no lover of fuss”, but is in an “environment where she can be very well looked after”.
He added: “I think the Queen’s always been aware that one day she would get it.
“For a very feisty and determined lady of her mid-90s, she is more than ready to deal with what she faces.”
This was the last thing that the Royal Family needed
What a week it’s been for the Royal Family and what a start to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.
In the past 10 days, her son and heir Prince Charles, and her daughter-in-law the Duchess of Cornwall have both had COVID-19, Prince Andrew has signed what’s rumoured to be a multimillion-pound agreement to settle his sex abuse civil case, the Met Police have confirmed they’re investigating cash for honours claims within Prince Charles’s charitable foundation, and Prince Harry has started his case against the Home Office over police protection for his family.
So the last thing anyone needed, not least the Queen, was for Her Majesty to test positive for coronavirus.
Given she is 95 years old, turning 96 in April, it’s obviously concerning – but the palace insists she is only suffering mild symptoms.
It’s worth saying that, in the past, they may not have even told us that she’d got it.
They are a family that like to keep their medical matters private.
We didn’t find out when Prince William had COVID and the Queen is not due to carry out any public engagements until 2 March.
But the criticism they got for not publicly saying that William had it – and the outrage when they didn’t announce last year that the Queen had spent a night in hospital – probably meant in some ways that their hand was forced.
No one would want that leaking out.
In a world of speculation and the understandable concern that comes with the monarch being unwell, especially after her ill health last year, it can be tricky for the palace and that’s why we keep getting messages of reassurance, some more subtle than others.
They say she wants to keep on with the light duties, she’s got cold-like symptoms and, I’m told, she personally signed off the message congratulating the Team GB women’s curling team on their gold medal.
With her son, daughter-in-law and, I’m told, other members of the Windsor team having COVID, it was probably inevitable that we’d get this news.
What’s also inevitable is that we won’t get a running commentary on how she is.
That’s just not how things are done.