Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II’s family are traveling to Balmoral Castle in Scotland after the monarch’s doctors announced on Thursday they were “concerned” for her health.
In a rare statement on the Queen’s health, Buckingham Palace said Thursday the monarch was advised to remain under medical supervision because of the doctors’ concerns.
“The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral (Castle),” the statement added.
The announcement came just hours after Buckingham Palace announced the Queen, 96, had postponed a virtual meeting of her Privy Council on Wednesday after being advised by doctors to rest.
The monarch was scheduled to attend the gathering after formally appointing Liz Truss as the new UK Prime Minister. Truss is the 15th prime minister appointed by the Queen during her 70-year reign.
The Queen’s four children have traveled to, or are already at, Balmoral. Prince Charles, the Queen’s oldest son and the heir apparent to the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, arrived at Balmoral earlier on Thursday, according to a statement from Clarence House.
The Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, known as the Princess Royal, was already at the Scottish castle, a royal source told CNN. The source added that Prince Edward, the Queen’s youngest son, and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, were traveling to Balmoral. A source close to Prince Andrew said the Duke of York was also heading there.
Kensington Palace said Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, who is second in line for the throne, was en route, while his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, has remained at Windsor, where their three children are at their first day at a new school.
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, were also on their way to Balmoral, a spokesperson for the couple said.
There have been concerns over the Queen’s health ever since a brief hospital stay last October. The monarch has experienced episodic mobility issues, which have at times caused her to withdraw from official engagements.
The Queen’s meeting with Truss would traditionally have taken place at London’s Buckingham Palace, but the monarch has significantly reduced her duties and travel in recent months because of the mobility issues. Instead, the new prime minister traveled to Scotland for her audience with the Queen.
Truss tweeted Thursday that “the whole country will be deeply concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace this lunchtime.”
“My thoughts — and the thoughts of people across our United Kingdom — are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time,” Truss added.
Appointing a new prime minister is one of the Queen’s core ceremonial responsibilities as Head of State — with others being the State Opening of Parliament and the signing of parliamentary bills into law.
In May, the Queen missed the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in 59 years. The palace cited the monarch’s “episodic mobility problems” but declined to divulge further details citing patient confidentiality.
Instead, Princes Charles and William took center stage at the event, with the heir to the throne reading the government’s legislative agenda for the year ahead on his mother’s behalf.
The announcement from Buckingham Palace sparked a flood of messages expressing concerns and well wishes from across the UK and around the world.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby extended his prayers to the Queen on Thursday, saying: “May God’s presence strengthen and comfort Her Majesty, her family, and those who are caring for her at Balmoral.”
“My prayers, and the prayers of people across the Church of England and the nation, are with Her Majesty The Queen today,” Welby said on Twitter.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that her thoughts and wishes were with the Queen, while First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said he was “concerned” to hear the news from Buckingham Palace, and sent “best wishes” to the Queen.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he was “deeply concerned” by the news about the Queen’s health.
UK Labour leader Keir Starmer said on Thursday that he was “deeply worried” by the news from Buckingham Palace this afternoon. “
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