The Queen spent night in hospital for 'preliminary investigations', Buckingham Palace says

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Watch: Queen spent night in hospital for ‘preliminary investigations’ after rest orders

The Queen spent Wednesday night in hospital for “preliminary investigations” but has returned home and is in good spirits, Buckingham Palace has said.

The monarch, who was ordered to rest by doctors and advised to miss a trip to Northern Ireland, came back to Windsor Castle at lunchtime on Thursday. 

It is understood the trip to hospital on Wednesday afternoon was expected to be for a short stay for some preliminary investigations, so was not announced by the Palace at the time, as well as in order to protect the Queen’s medical privacy.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “Following medical advice to rest for a few days, the Queen attended hospital on Wednesday afternoon for some preliminary investigations, returning to Windsor Castle at lunchtime today, and remains in good spirits.”

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 19:  Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) greets British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson (R) during a reception for international business and investment leaders at Windsor Castle to mark the Global Investment Summit on October 19, 2021 in Windsor, England.  (Photo by Arthur Edwards-Pool/Getty Images)
The Queen pictured earlier this week, during a reception for international business and investment leaders at Windsor Castle. (Getty Images)

The overnight stay was said to be for practical reasons.

The Queen’s medical team are understood to have been taking a cautious approach.

She was believed to be back at her desk on Thursday afternoon, undertaking light duties.

The 95-year-old monarch was said to be disappointed not to be able to travel to Northern Ireland on Wednesday, and reluctantly heeded the advice of her royal physicians.

The Queen's overnight stay at King Edward VII’s Hospital is her first in eight years.

She was treated at the private clinic for a nasty bout of gastroenteritis in March 2013 when she was 86 - her first hospital stay in 10 years - when she also stayed for one night, prompting the cancellation of a week of engagements, including a two-day trip to Rome.

The Queen spent one night in hospital and left thanking staff and smiling before being driven to Buckingham Palace to rest.

It was thought her public appearances were back on track until Buckingham Palace announced on the morning of the Commonwealth Day Observance service on March 11 that she regrettably could no longer attend “as she continues to recover following her recent illness”.

It was the first Commonwealth Day Observance service she had missed in 20 years, the last occasion being when she had flu in 1993.

Watch: Queen cancels Northern Ireland trip after being told to rest

The Queen has had a busy schedule since returning from Balmoral at the start of October, and hosted a major Global Investment summit at Windsor Castle on Tuesday evening, where she looked bright and cheerful as she carried out her royal duties.

She is due to attend the UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow next month.

At the opening of the Welsh Senedd in Cardiff last week, the Queen was overheard expressing annoyance at world leaders for failing to commit to attending the conference.

She was recorded in a conversation with the Duchess of Cambridge saying: "Extraordinary isn’t it. I’ve been hearing all about COP, still don’t know who is coming, no idea.

“We only know about people who are not coming. It’s really irritating when they talk, but they don’t do."

The Queen has spent large chunks of time out of the public eye recently, mainly as a consequence of the global coronavirus pandemic.

However, she has been significantly more present in the past couple of weeks. Here is what the 95-year-old monarch has been up to since her return to Windsor Castle at the start of October:

October 6: The Queen holds two virtual audiences at Windsor with the Greek ambassador and the ambassador for Belize. She meets Canadian troops from 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, and later has a telephone audience with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

October 7: The Queen, with the Earl of Wessex, launches the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games from the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07: Hometown Hero Haseebah Abdullah delivers The Queen’s message to the stage during the launch of The Queen's Baton Relay for Birmingham 2022, the XXII Commonwealth Games at Buckingham Palace on October 07, 2021 in London, England. 
The Relay will span 294 days, and the Baton will visit all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Commonwealth Games Federation / Birmingham 2022 )
Hometown Hero Haseebah Abdullah delivers The Queen’s message to the stage during the launch of The Queen's Baton Relay for Birmingham 2022, the XXII Commonwealth Games at Buckingham Palace on October 7. (Getty Images)

October 12: The Queen, accompanied by the Princess Royal, attends a Westminster Abbey service of thanksgiving to mark the centenary of the Royal British Legion. She uses a walking stick at the abbey – the first time she has done so at a major event.

October 13: The monarch has a face-to-face audience with pianist Dame Imogen Cooper to present her with the Queen’s Medal for Music. She also holds three other audiences.

October 14: On an away day to Cardiff, the Queen delivers a speech at the sixth session of the Welsh Senedd.

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 14: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II seen using a walking stick as she attends the opening ceremony of the sixth session of the Senedd at The Senedd on October 14, 2021 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The Queen is seen using a walking stick as she attends the opening ceremony of the sixth session of the Senedd on October 14, 2021 in Cardiff. (Getty Images)

October 16: The Queen enjoys a day at the races at Ascot, and presents the trophy after the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes during the Qipco British Champions Day.

October 18: She holds a virtual audience with the new Governor-General of New Zealand, Dame Cindy Kiro.

October 19: The Queen has three engagements – two virtual audiences with the Japanese ambassador and the EU ambassador, and then hosts an evening reception at Windsor Castle to mark the Global Investment Summit.

Watch: What will happen when the Queen dies?

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