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Queen’s aides accused of covering up her health after hospital stay kept secret

Buckingham Palace has refused to comment on claims that it misled the nation over the state of the Queen’s health after she spent a night in a private hospital in London

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BBC’s Nicholas Witchell hits out at Queen’s health statement

The Queen’s aides have been accused of trying to cover up her stay in hospital and misleading the nation over her the state of her health.

Buckingham Palace has faced growing criticism for keeping the hospital stay a secret, with a scathing attack launched by a BBC royal correspondent who questioned how much the Palace could be trusted.

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

The Palace told journalists the Queen had been advised to rest and remained at Windsor Castle, but more than 24 hours later confirmed she had been taken to the private hospital.



The Queen’s stay in hospital was kept a secret
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Image:

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A trip to Northern Ireland was cancelled at the last minute.

The royal standard continued to fly at the castle after the Queen had left.

A royal source denied it remained flying as part of a cover-up, telling the Daily Mail the standard did not move to every building the Queen visited.

Despite the hospital stay, the source said, Windsor had remained the Queen’s residence.

BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said journalists and Brits ‘weren’t given the complete picture’.







He added: “The problem, it seems to me, is that rumour and misinformation always thrive in the absence of proper, accurate and trustworthy information.”

Royal commentator and former BBC journalist Peter Hunt alleged there had been a ‘failed attempt’ to cover up the Queen’s hospital stay.

He said: “The media’s faith in the veracity of royal communications will have been sorely tested by the failed attempt to hide the fact the Queen spent a night in hospital.

“Buckingham Palace can ill afford a breakdown in trust, given all they’re dealing with.”

A spokesman for the Palace declined to comment on the cover-up claims.



Queen's aides accused of covering up her health after hospital stay kept secret
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Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty Magazine, said the issue of revealing details about the monarch’s health is problematic: “This is a tricky one because the Queen does have a right to a certain degree of privacy, but on the other hand she’s head of state.

“So does that entitle us to know exactly what ailments she may or may not have? It’s a very difficult one to get the balance right for the satisfaction of everybody.”

Royal author Penny Junor said the Palace’s decision not to announce the hospital visit prevented unfounded rumours circulating.

She said: “I’m not surprised they did that, otherwise there would be speculation. People would be putting her in her grave long before she’s ready for it.”







It is understood the Queen was due to stay in hospital for only a short period while seen by specialists, so the development was not announced by the Palace at the time, and protecting her medical privacy was also a consideration.

The overnight admittance was for “practical reasons”, a source said.

It is said the Queen was “back at her desk” and doing “light” duties after returning to Windsor.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said late on Thursday night: “Following medical advice to rest for a few days, the Queen attended hospital on Wednesday afternoon for some preliminary investigations, returning to Windsor Castle at lunchtime today, and remains in good spirits.”

Sources told Russell Myers, the Mirror’s Royal Editor, that she was expected to have visitors, including family, this weekend, but engagements in next week’s diary have been put on hold.

It was unclear whether she would attend the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

The Queen’s admittance was her first overnight stay in hospital since she spent a night at the private clinic in 2013 when she was treated for the symptoms of gastroenteritis.


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