Concerns over Queen Elizabeth II’s health intensified Wednesday after Buckingham Palace announced that she was “reluctant” to cancel a planned trip to Northern Ireland on “the advice of a doctor.”
The news comes after the 95-year-old monarch was seen with a cane during two meetings last week, and after Vanity Fair reported that doctors advised her to give up alcohol, including her favorite evening martini.
Royal sources told British media that there was “no cause for concern” about the Queen’s health and that the cancellation of the trip was not related to the coronavirus.
“The Queen was reluctant to take medical advice to rest for the next few days,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement, according to the Daily Mail. “Her Majesty is in good spirits and disappointed that she will no longer be able to visit Northern Ireland, where she was to host a number of events today and tomorrow. The Queen sends her warmest good wishes to the people of Northern Ireland and looks forward to coming here in the future. “
The Queen is expected to host world leaders at the UN COP26 Climate Change Summit in Glasgow, Scotland in late October. So the doctors don’t seem to be too worried about her health – they just want her to slow down a bit.
As reported by the Daily Mail and Vanity Fair, the Queen, five years before her 100th birthday, has a busy, grueling schedule ahead of her this fall and the months leading up to her Platinum Jubilee in June.
Now resting at Windsor Castle, she has just finished a packed two weeks of official meetings, according to the Daily Mail. Over the course of 14 days, the Queen attended 10 major events, including a visit to the Ascot Racecourse; a visit to Wales to address the Wales Parliament; virtual and in-person audiences with the new governor general of New Zealand and the ambassadors of Japan and the EU; and hosted a Tuesday night reception at Windsor Castle for Global Investment Conference delegates, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US Climate Envoy John Kerry, and billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
Vanity Fair Royal Reporter Katie Nicholl said the Queen is still “in good physical condition.” But she also has to go through “one of the most important periods in her reign – reaching the milestone of 70 years on the throne.” For this reason, according to Nicoll, doctors advised her to give up alcohol, except on special occasions, “to keep her as healthy as possible during her busy fall schedule.”
“The Queen was told to skip the evening drink, which is usually a martini,” a family friend told Vanity Fair. “It doesn’t really matter to her, she doesn’t drink much, but it seems like a petty injustice that at this stage in her life she has to give up one of the very few pleasures.”
Nicoll also noted that the queen has resumed a “series of engagements” after the loss in April of Prince Philip, her 73-year-old husband. She also spent most of 2020 and early 2021 in isolation at Windsor Castle due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But even during the pandemic, she remained busy, completing 136 actions in person or in fact in 130 days last year, according to the Daily Mail. Only Princess Anne (148 events in 145 days) and Prince Charles (146 events in 141 days) completed more events.
After returning from her long summer vacation at Balmoral, the queen returned to work “looking happy and enthusiastic,” Nicoll said. She was scheduled to arrive in Northern Ireland on Wednesday to meet with schoolchildren and other local residents in Hillsborough, County Down, according to the Daily Mail.
So far, it looks like she will soon resume her busy schedule, attending a high-profile COP26 climate change conference in Scotland at the end of the month, according to the Daily Mail. She will also attend the annual Remembrance Sunday event in November and will record her Christmas broadcast for the country, among other things.
The Queen officially reaches her Platinum Jubilee on February 6, the day she ascended the throne following the death of her father, King George VI, in 1952, according to the Daily Mail. The anniversary celebrations will take place over four days in June and will include the Color Squad.