Queen Elizabeth has been advised by her doctors to rest for at least the next two weeks, Buckingham Palace said on Friday, deepening the anxieties about her health that began last week when she abruptly cancelled a visit to Northern Ireland because of what aides at the palace described as fatigue.
The queen was expected to attend a cross-community church service in Armagh to mark the centenary of the partition of Ireland and the formation of Northern Ireland.
While the palace said the queen would continue to carry out “light, desk-based duties” and could conduct meetings via Zoom, she will not take part in any official events or ceremonies, including the Festival of Remembrance, a gala scheduled for November 13th that honours soldiers and civilians who sacrificed for Britain in wartime.
For the queen (95) to cancel her participation in an event two weeks in advance attests to the extraordinary precautions her medical team is taking. It also suggests that she has not bounced back from last week's health issue, even after withdrawing to Windsor Castle and cancelling her Northern Ireland visit, as well as one to Cop26, the United Nations climate conference that opens in Glasgow, Scotland, next week.
In a statement, the palace said, “Following on from their recent advice that the queen should rest for a few days, Her Majesty’s doctors have advised that she should continue to rest for at least the next two weeks.”
Last week, the queen spent one night in a hospital in London for what the palace said were preliminary tests. She returned to Windsor Castle the next day and has conducted virtual meetings, including with ambassadors, since then.
Buckingham Palace did not offer any new details about the queen’s condition, beyond saying she remained in good spirits and had recorded a video address to be broadcast at the opening of the climate conference. She had earlier planned to attend a reception in Glasgow but backed out on Tuesday.
Aides said last week that the queen's decision to cancel the Northern Ireland trip was not related to Covid-19. They have described her as exhausted after a hectic series of public events that included a reception at Windsor Castle for business executives such as technology billionaire Bill Gates.
Although she will miss the Festival of Remembrance, held at Royal Albert Hall, the palace said she planned to attend the National Service of Remembrance, a solemn, related ceremony held the following day that is a staple of her schedule. People with ties to the palace suggested that the decision to cancel her appearances was motivated by a desire to give certainty to the organisers of events such as the Festival of Remembrance. They said the queen's public schedule for next week was light, so her decision to rest would not affect many events.
The queen had surprised some royal observers by resuming a hectic public schedule after the death in April of her husband, Prince Philip. Some predicted she would recede into the shadows of Windsor Castle, where she and Philip had sequestered themselves during much of the pandemic.
Instead, she traded jokes with world leaders at a summit meeting in Cornwall, opened parliaments in England and Wales, and played host to US president Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, at Windsor Castle. Recent images of the queen have showed her generally alert and smiling, although she was photographed using a walking stick at a ceremony in Westminster Abbey. It was the first time she had been seen using one aside from when she was recovering from knee surgery in 2003 and 2004.
After more than a year behind closed doors, aides said there was pent-up demand for the queen to appear in public. While Elizabeth appeared eager to get back to a normal schedule, some suggested that she had overdone it. – This article originally appeared in the New York Times