BBC News: LONDON, England, By Dulcie Lee – The monarch is experiencing “mild cold-like symptoms” but expects to continue “light duties” at Windsor over the coming week, the palace said.
“She will continue to receive medical attention and will follow all the appropriate guidelines,” it added in a statement.
The Queen, 95, had been in contact with her eldest son and heir, the Prince of Wales, who tested positive last week.
It is understood a number of people have tested positive at Windsor Castle, where the Queen resides.
Queen Elizabeth II records her annual Christmas broadcast in the White Drawing Room in Windsor Castle, Berkshire. Issue date: Saturday December 25, 2021 – Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “I’m sure I speak for everyone in wishing Her Majesty The Queen a swift recovery from COVID and a rapid return to vibrant good health.”
The announcement comes weeks after the UK’s longest reigning monarch reached her Platinum Jubilee of 70 years on February 6.
On the eve of her Jubilee, she carried out her first major public engagement for more than three months, meeting charity workers at Sandringham House.
The Queen, who will be 96 in April, had her first vaccine in January 2021 and is believed to have had all her follow-up jabs after that.
BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said she had been taking life “rather more easily” since spending a night in hospital for medical checks in October last year.
Meanwhile, BBC health correspondent Jim Reed said newly-approved antiviral drugs could aid the Queen’s recovery.
He said the drugs were now a key way to cut the risk of vulnerable people needing hospital treatment, although it was not clear if they would definitely be offered to the monarch.
Currently, the available antivirals need to be taken within three to five days of contracting COVID.
Prince Charles, 73, tested positive on 10 February – he met with the Queen on 8 February. COVID symptoms generally appear from two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
On Tuesday, the Queen attended her first official engagement since coming into contact with Prince Charles, holding a virtual meeting with two new ambassadors to the UK.
The following day, she smiled as she suggested she had mobility problems during a meeting with defence staff. Standing while using a walking stick, she pointed to her left leg and said: “Well, as you can see, I can’t move.”
Palace plays down sense of alarm
The tone of this message from Buckingham Palace seems designed to provide important information about the Queen’s health, but at the same time play down any sense of alarm.
So the concern about the 95-year-old monarch catching Covid is set against her being well enough to continue working.
In terms of what happens next – she is clearly going to be very carefully monitored by her personal medical team.
The Queen’s physician, Sir Huw Thomas, said last year that his “key priority” was keeping the Royal Household safe through the pandemic.
For her vaccination status, we know the Queen had a first vaccination early last year.
Since then she has spoken publicly about the benefits of vaccination – and suggestions that she has had all three vaccinations have never been denied.
But the news is a further reminder, with the Queen’s advanced years, of the ever-present risk of health concerns.
Prince Charles’ wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, 74, tested positive for the virus last week, days after her husband.
It was the first time the duchess had caught Covid, and the second time for Prince Charles.
The Royal Household has its own physicians, and the Queen’s is Sir Huw Thomas, a consultant at St Mary’s Hospital in London and professor of gastrointestinal genetics at Imperial College London.
He is “head of the medical household”, which is part of the Royal Household looking after the health of the family.
The announcement comes days before England is expected to drop the legal requirement to self-isolate for those who test positive, as the last virus restrictions are set to be removed.
Timeline: The Royal Family and Covid
- March 2020: Prince Charles tests positive
- April: Duke of Cambridge tests positive
- January 2021: The Queen and Prince Philip have their first jabs
- February: Prince Charles and Camilla receive their first doses
- 8 February 2022: Queen spends time with Prince Charles at an event at Windsor Castle
- 10 February: Prince Charles tests positive a second time
- 14 February: Camilla tests positive
- 20 February: Buckingham Palace announces Queen has tested positive
Top Feature Photo: Getty Images