Queen well and cheerful after night in hospital

THE Queen was discharged from hospital yesterday after spending just a day being treated by doctors for symptoms of gastroenteritis.

She looked well and cheerful as she left following her overnight stay at the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in London.

Concerns were raised about the Queen’s general well-being after she was admitted on Sunday, as this was the first time the 86-year-old had been treated in hospital in almost ten years. She was struck down on Friday by the stomach bug, which commonly causes symptoms of vomiting and repeated episodes of diarrhoea.

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But on the steps of the hospital, close to the medical centres of London’s famous Harley Street, the Queen smiled at staff as she said goodbye.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman declined to discuss in detail her condition, but said she remained in “good spirits”.

The palace spokeswoman confirmed that the Queen would not be fulfilling planned engagements as she recovered from the illness. “Engagements cancelled or postponed this week remain so,” she said.

“Next week we’ll have to see, as she has only just been released from hospital.”

The Queen’s illness forced her to cancel a trip to Rome to meet the country’s President Giorgio Napolitano for a private lunch on Thursday. And a Buckingham Palace reception today for MPs and MEPs will now be hosted by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Countess of Wessex.

The Queen has a number of events planned for next week, including the annual Commonwealth Observance multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey in London.

At the engagement, which takes place on Monday and is usually attended by other senior royals, the Queen’s pre-recorded video message to the family of nations will be broadcast to the 2,000-strong congregation.

Soon after leaving hospital the royal standard was raised above the palace, indicating she would be spending the night at her official London home.

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Despite being ill since Friday she was well enough on Sunday to meet an employee at the hospital and privately to award her a medal for long service.

The Queen was last admitted to the hospital in December 2003 for an operation to remove torn cartilage from her left knee.