Tummy trouble sends queen to hospital, cancels trip to Rome
LONDON — Britain's Queen Elizabeth II was hospitalized on Sunday over an apparent stomach infection that has ailed her for days, a rare instance of ill health sidelining the long-reigning monarch.
The queen was taken to London's King Edward VII Hospital by private car from Windsor Castle on the advice of her physician, John Cunningham.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the 86-year-old was in “good spirits” and was otherwise in “good health.” Stressing that she was admitted as a “precautionary measure,” he said, “This is simply to enable doctors to better assess her.”
The palace said the queen had experienced symptoms of gastroenteritis. It was the first time in a decade that Elizabeth has been hospitalized.
“All official engagements for this week will regrettably be either postponed or cancelled,” the palace said in a statement. A two-day trip to Rome had been planned to start on Wednesday.
The symptoms of gastroenteritis — vomiting and diarrhea — usually pass after one or two days, though they can be more severe in older or otherwise vulnerable people. Dehydration is a common complication.
The illness was first announced Friday, and Elizabeth had to cancel a visit to Swansea, Wales, on Saturday to honor soldiers of the Royal Welsh Regiment on Wales' national day.
A doctor not involved in the queen's treatment said that if medical officials determined that she is losing too much fluid, she would be rehydrated intravenously.
“Not everyone can keep up with oral hydration, so it is pretty routine to go to hospital and have a drip and wait for the thing to pass and keep yourself hydrated,” said Dr. Christopher Hawkey of the University of Nottingham's faculty of medicine.
Britain has been hard hit this winter by the norovirus, a vomiting bug that typically afflicts between 600,000 and 1 million Britons each year.
“It's very infectious and strikes in winter because people are indoors and it spreads more easily,” Hawkey said.
Elizabeth, who has ruled since 1952, is Britain's second-longest serving monarch.
She was last admitted to the hospital in 2003 for surgery to remove torn cartilage in her right knee and non-cancerous lesions from her face.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.