The Queen is in hospital as a precaution, while she is assessed for symptoms of gastroenteritis, Buckingham Palace says.

The 86-year-old monarch has been taken to King Edward VII Hospital in London, a palace spokesman said.

All official engagements for this week, including the Queen’s trip to Rome, will be either cancelled or postponed.

The Queen was driven to hospital by private car on Sunday, and the palace said she was “in good spirits”.

She had earlier carried out a medal presentation at Windsor Palace, where she has been resting over the weekend.

‘Good health’

A spokesman for the Queen said she was in “good health”, besides the symptoms of gastroenteritis.

He said: “This is a precautionary measure.

“She was not taken into hospital immediately after feeling the symptoms. This is simply to enable doctors to better assess her.”


Nicholas Witchell Royal correspondent

I think it is important to stress that we should not get this out of proportion.

This is, as the palace says, a precautionary measure for assessment. She has clearly got a nasty stomach bug.

However, she did fulfil one commitment this morning – presenting a long-service medal at Windsor before being taken by private car to hospital.

Clearly, this stomach bug hasn’t just cleared up over the last couple of days, so the doctors will not want to take any risks.

The word from the palace is that she’s in good spirits. I would imagine she may well have gone to hospital slightly unwillingly – her inclination is not to make a fuss.

She, I’m sure, never wants to miss engagements, or let people down, but a stomach bug does not respect who you are.

The BBC’s royal correspondent Peter Hunt says the Queen will remain in hospital under observation for about two days.

The Queen was last in hospital 10 years ago for a minor knee operation.

News of her illness emerged on Friday night, and she was forced to cancel a trip to Swansea on Saturday to mark St David’s Day in a military ceremony.

Gastroenteritis causes inflammation of the stomach lining and intestines.

The infection can be transmitted through contact with an infected person or contaminated food and drink. Symptoms can include vomiting, fever and stomach ache.

The Queen had been due to spend two days in Rome with the Duke of Edinburgh next weekend, at the invitation of Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano.

It is not now clear whether the visit will be re-scheduled.

A reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday for MPs and MEPs will go ahead with other members of the royal family present.


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