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Royal Family Rushes to Queen’s Bedside as Condition Worsens

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Royal Family Rushes to Queen’s Bedside as Condition Worsens

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Prince Charles, Prince William, Princess Anne, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie are at or en route to Balmoral, after Queen Elizabeth II’s doctors said they were “concerned” for her health and are keeping her under medical supervision.

The 96-year-old British monarch was evaluated Thursday morning, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said in a statement. The queen is at her Scottish summer residence where she “remains comfortable,” the statement added.

Harry and Meghan Markle, who were already in the U.K. ahead of a charity event Thursday evening, were reported to be on their way to Balmoral. However, sources cited by the Press Association later clarified that only Harry was making the trip. Meghan could potentially join Harry in Scotland at a later date, a source told the Daily Mail.

An official spokesperson for Prince Charles and Camilla confirmed they had already traveled to Balmoral, while a spokesperson for Prince William said that he was “traveling to Balmoral.”

Dramatic photographs showed Prince William driving Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Sophie into Balmoral. Meanwhile, people gathered in the pouring rain outside the gates of Buckingham Palace hundreds of miles away in London, awaiting an official announcement—some had brought flowers.

The alarming news comes after the queen was pictured using a walking stick while anointing Liz Truss as the new U.K. prime minister on Tuesday.

“The whole country will be deeply concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace this lunchtime,” Truss wrote in a tweet posted shortly after the statement on the queen’s health was released. “My thoughts—and the thoughts of people across our United Kingdom—are with Her Majesty the Queen and her family at this time.”

Health Fears Swirl as Queen Cancels Virtual Meeting With New PM Liz Truss

The first public sign Thursday that the queen may be seriously ill came when, in the middle of a high-profile debate about the U.K. energy crisis, Truss and her opposite number, Sir Keir Starmer, suddenly departed the chamber of the House of Commons.

Buckingham Palace then acted swiftly to put out an official statement saying that, although doctors were “concerned for Her Majesty’s health” she “remained comfortable.” Official sources pushed back against suggestions she had had a fall, but there was no attempt to deny the seriousness of the situation.

The Bioreports even interrupted scheduled programming to update the public about the sovereign’s health.

Anxiety about the queen’s health has been steadily mounting in recent months after a series of unusual event cancellations and venue changes.

NBC News said that National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that President Joe Biden will be “updated throughout the day” on the queen’s condition, adding the president’s thoughts were “solidly and squarely with Queen Elizabeth and her family.”

The palace has consistently refused to offer what it calls a “running commentary” on the queen’s health and has only ever conceded that she is suffering “episodic mobility problems.”

However, she has appeared to increasingly struggle with her health since October, when she canceled a trip to Northern Ireland. It subsequently emerged that she had spent a night in a hospital and had unspecified tests.

In November, she canceled, at the last minute, a scheduled appearance at the Remembrance Sunday veterans commemoration over a back issue.

She was then seen only on a few occasions before her platinum jubilee celebrations in June this year, when, contrary to expectations, she made three high-profile appearances.

But worrying signs of declining health re-emerged this week.

Traditionally, the queen’s meeting with a new prime minister—an ancient ceremony known as “the kissing of hands”—takes place at Buckingham Palace, but Tuesday’s meeting with Truss was moved to Balmoral for the first time in history.

And Thursday’s dramatic news also came after the queen’s spokesperson said on Wednesday that she had canceled a virtual meeting of the Privy Council—a body that advises the British sovereign—having been advised by her doctor to rest. A source said at the time that there were “no hospitals or anything involved.”

The palace attempted to play down the significance of Wednesday’s cancellation, saying that the queen was tired after a “full day” on Tuesday during Truss’ appointment as prime minister.

Shortly after news of the queen’s condition reached the House of Commons, speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle interrupted proceedings with a statement of support. “I know I speak on behalf of the entire House when I say that we send our best wishes to Her Majesty the queen and that she and the royal family are in our thoughts and prayers at this moment.”

With over 70 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning monarch in British history. During her reign, the queen has been served by 15 prime ministers—the first being Winston Churchill, in 1952—though she is the head of state in the United Kingdom.

Her 73-year-old son, Prince Charles, is the heir to the throne.

- at The Daily Beast.

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