Queen to miss commonwealth service

Queen to ill to attend Commonwealth event:Getty Images
Queen to ill to attend Commonwealth event:Getty Images
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The Queen has been forced to cancel her appearance at a major service celebrating the Commonwealth as she continues to recover from her recent bout of gastroenteritis, Buckingham Palace said today.

The Duke of Edinburgh will now be the only senior royal representative but the Palace said the Queen would attend an evening reception where she will sign the new Commonwealth charter.

The monarch spent 24 hours in hospital last week being treated for the illness which gives sufferers vomiting and diarrhoea.

Buckingham Palace had said on Friday that the Queen would attend today’s service and it was “business as usual”.

The 86-year-old was struck down by the stomach bug just over a week ago and spent last Sunday night at the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in central London before being discharged on Monday.

Concerns were raised about the Queen’s general well-being as it was the first time she had been admitted to hospital in almost 10 years.

But she left the hospital looking well and cheerful.

Her engagements for last week were cancelled, including a brief visit to Rome to meet Italy’s president.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “This time last week she was in hospital but she’s in great spirits and apart from this is in good health and will be going to the reception in the evening.

“It’s just the tail end of the symptoms, her condition has not worsened at all.”

The Palace announced the cancellation in a short statement: “The Queen will regrettably no longer attend the Commonwealth Observance at Westminster Abbey today as she continues to recover following her recent illness.”

It added: “The Queen hopes to undertake some of her official engagements planned for the rest of this week.”