Questions raised over secrecy around Queen’s overnight hospital stay

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The Queen is undertaking “light duties” aft a infirmary sojourn for “preliminary investigations” arsenic Buckingham Palace faced questions implicit its handling of quality of her overnight admission.

The 95-year-old monarch is said beryllium resting astatine Windsor Castle aft undergoing tests astatine King Edward VII’s Hospital successful cardinal London, having been advised by doctors to remainder for a fewer days and cancelled a two-day travel to Northern Ireland.

She returned to her Berkshire residence astatine lunchtime connected Thursday, having been admitted connected Wednesday afternoon. A root said she remained successful “good spirits” and was “resting and undertaking airy duties”.

Boris Johnson commented connected the Queen’s information during a sojourn to a vaccine centre successful westbound London connected Friday: “I deliberation everybody sends Her Majesty our very, precise champion wishes. And certainly, we person from the government.

“But I’m fixed to recognize that really Her Majesty is characteristically backmost astatine her table astatine Windsor arsenic we speak. But we nonstop her each imaginable bully wish.”

This was the Queen’s archetypal infirmary admittance since 2013, erstwhile she was treated astatine the aforesaid infirmary for gastroenteritis.

But that Buckingham Palace confirmed the latest sojourn lone erstwhile the Sun paper ran it arsenic a beforehand leafage exclusive has triggered statement implicit however the federation learned of it and raised questions implicit palace transparency.

“It could person been handled differently,” said Dickie Arbiter, a erstwhile property caput to the Queen. “They could person made an announcement aft she was backmost astatine Windsor Castle, saying, ‘The Queen has been to infirmary for tests. She is present backmost astatine the castle. She is working. That is each we are saying. End of’.”

A proactive announcement, aft she was safely backmost astatine Windsor, would besides person avoided the circus of photographers mounting up extracurricular the hospital.

Buckingham Palace announced the Queen had “reluctantly accepted aesculapian proposal to remainder for the adjacent fewer days” conscionable aft 11am connected Wednesday, stressing that she was successful “good spirits” and “disappointed” astatine cancelling her Northern Ireland visit.

Media outlets faithfully reported this passim Wednesday and Thursday. Meanwhile, staff, and immoderate members of the nationalist who whitethorn person seen the VIP admission, would beryllium alert that specified media reports were not giving the full picture.

The BBC’s royal correspondent, Jonny Dymond, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme helium suspected the palace did not mean to uncover details of her admittance astatine all, but that they were forced into it by the Sun.

There was ever a enactment to beryllium drawn betwixt the privateness individuals are entitled to connected aesculapian matters and the anticipation the federation has of being informed astir the wellness of its caput of state, whom galore clasp successful large affection, helium said.

The BBC’s royal editor, Nicholas Witchell, told BBC Breakfast that the media had not “been fixed the implicit picture” to relay to viewers and readers. We were present being told that she was resting, undertaking airy duties and successful bully spirits, helium said. “Well, we indispensable anticipation that we tin spot reliance connected what the palace is telling us.”

One of Buckingham Palace’s most-utilised responses has agelong been that it volition not “provide a moving commentary”. And nary 1 would reason that the quality of the backstage tests the sovereign was undergoing should beryllium disclosed. But successful PR terms, the information that she stayed overnight volition person been known by several, and was ever successful information of being leaked.

The effect is simply a “no-win situation” for the palace, which had sought to debar “wild speculation” implicit the Queen’s wellness but had been “caught connected the hop by an unfortunate leak to the Sun”, said Arbiter.

Penny Junor, a royal writer and commentator, said: “It doesn’t look good, but the palace whitethorn beryllium trying to support her privacy. There are 101 imaginable reasons wherefore they did not privation to denote it. But I fishy it was to forestall rampant speculation that she was unwell.

“She has been looking truthful radiant, truthful steadfast and truthful robust successful caller times that I can’t judge that determination is thing earnestly incorrect with her. But she is 95 years aged and she has been doing an atrocious lot.”

Palace sources accent the determination not to denote her admittance was based connected the information that the Queen is entitled to aesculapian privateness and that it was lone going to beryllium for a abbreviated enactment for immoderate preliminary investigations.

An overnight enactment was “for applicable reasons”, they said. Whether this was owed to it being unreasonably precocious for her to beryllium driven the one-hour travel backmost to Windsor, oregon that immoderate tests could not beryllium completed successful time, has not been disclosed.