The British royal family rushed to be with Queen Elizabeth after doctors said Thursday they were concerned about the health of the 96-year-old monarch and said she should remain under medical supervision.
The Queen, Britain’s longest-reigning sovereign and the world’s oldest monarch, has suffered from what Buckingham Palace calls “episodic mobility problems” since late last year.
“Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen’s doctors are concerned about Her Majesty’s health and have recommended that they remain under medical supervision,” the palace said in a statement.
“The Queen remains comfortable and in Balmoral.”
Her eldest son and heir Prince Charles and his wife Camilla traveled to her Scottish home, Balmoral Castle, where she resides, along with his eldest son Prince William, officials said. Her other children – Anne, Andrew and Edward – were also in the castle.
A spokesman said Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, who were in Britain for a number of events, would also travel to Scotland.
Such a family gathering, outside of holiday events such as Christmas or Easter or major public events, is extremely rare.
The BBC interrupted its regular schedule to switch to constant coverage of the Queen.
“My prayers, and the prayers of people in @churchofengland and the nation, are with Her Majesty the Queen today,” Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said on Twitter.
Last October, Elizabeth spent a night in the hospital and has been forced to cut back on public appearances ever since. On Wednesday, she canceled a virtual meeting with senior ministers after being advised to rest by her doctors.
The day before, she had been pictured appointing Liz Truss as the country’s new prime minister in Balmoral, the 15th prime minister of her record-breaking government.
A source in the palace downplayed speculation that the monarch had fallen.
Elizabeth has been Queen of Great Britain and more than a dozen other countries, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand since 1952, and earlier this year marked her 70th year on the throne with four days of national celebrations in June.
“I have been inspired by the kindness, joy and kinship that has been so evident in recent days, and I hope this newfound sense of togetherness will be felt for many years to come,” she said at the time.
Elizabeth came to the throne after the death of her father King George VI on February 6, 1952, when she was just 25.
She was crowned in June of the following year. The first televised coronation was a foretaste of a new world in which the lives of the royal family would be increasingly scrutinized by the media.
She became monarch at a time when Britain retained much of its empire. It emerged from the ravages of World War II, with food rationing still in effect and class and privilege still dominant in society.
Winston Churchill was the first Prime Minister to serve during her reign, Joseph Stalin was leader of the Soviet Union, the Korean War was raging.
The Prime Minister said: “My thoughts – and the thoughts of people in our UK – are with Her Majesty the Queen and her family at the moment.”
Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, interrupted an energy debate in Parliament to say he had sent the monarch his best wishes.
“Like the rest of the country, I am deeply concerned about the news from Buckingham Palace this afternoon,” said opposition Labor leader Keir Starmer.
Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Twitter: “We are all deeply concerned about the reports of Her Majesty’s health. My thoughts and wishes are with the Queen and the entire Royal Family at this time.”
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