Queen is “not ill”, says Duke of York

The Queen cancelled her visit to London’s Tech City today as a precaution but is not ill, according to the Duke of York.

Prince Andrew said it was “more sensible” not to risk his mother, who has been suffering from the symptoms of gastroenteritis, travelling to the UK’s answer to America’s Silicon Valley.

The Duke spoke about the Queen at the end of his visit to two innovative companies in the capital’s East End and became the first member of the Royal Family to tweet when he sent a message about the engagements.

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Buckingham Palace announced yesterday that the Queen would not be attending any public events over the coming days but would be carrying out her normal duties within her official London home.

Speaking at the London headquarters of Yammer, an enterprise social network firm in Shoreditch, Andrew apologised to staff that the Queen could not make the visit.

He went on to tell them it was “more sensible not to risk her coming out at the moment, but she’s not ill”.

The Queen was struck down by symptoms of the stomach bug just over a week ago and spent last Sunday night at the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in central London being assessed before being discharged the following day.

Her trip to the East End, where Tech City is based, was in doubt after she was forced to cancel an appearance at a major Commonwealth service on Monday - for the first time in 20 years - as she recovered from the tail end of the illness.

On Monday evening she made her first official public appearance in more than a week to sign the Commonwealth’s new charter.

The Duke made history by becoming the first royal to send a message of 140 characters or less on Twitter.

The message was posted on the official monarchy account after he visited Mother, a creative company specialising in advertising, design and product development.

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The royal tweet said: “Great to visit @yammer and @motherlondon today, fantastic innovation in @TechCityUk that we can all be proud of.”

It was accompanied by a picture taken in the offices of Mother in Shoreditch, near a wall staff have filled with framed photographs of their mothers.

The firm worked on the Government’s Great Campaign which promoted Britain abroad on the back of London 2012 and the Diamond Jubilee.

Many of the staff occupy a large open-plan office dominated by a huge central concrete desk and as the Duke toured the room he joked with a group of IT workers about staff “breaking” computers.

Tech City encompasses a network of more than 1,300 digital firms, creative businesses and technology start-ups concentrated in the area east of Old Street roundabout.

Workers are encouraged to connect - both in person and via the web - to exchange ideas and foster a culture that inspires creativity.

Andrew met staff from Yammer which creates secure networks that allow a company’s staff to discuss ideas and exchange information and so increase productivity. It can also set up external networks for individuals and separate companies to communicate.

The Duke is a client of the US firm that chose Tech City as the base for its Europe, Middle East and Africa office, and has used its expertise to help organise business events.

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Nick D’Aloisio, who at the age of 17 runs an app firm and heads a workforce of 10, met the Duke.

His application called Summly summarises the content of web pages like news stories and has attracted the backing of venture capitalists.

The young entrepreneur has offices in Tech City and said: “There’s more opportunity here then going to somewhere like California. I’m a product of this community and it has been invaluable.”

Before leaving the offices of Yammer, the Duke accepted a 3D model of a corgi for the Queen and a box of dog biscuits and said he would pass them on.