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Queen ‘spent a night in hospital after cancelling Northern Irish trip’ 

The Queen spent the night in hospital for tests after dramatically cancelling an historic trip to Northern Ireland marking 100 years since the partition of the island. 

Royal doctors ordered Her Majesty, 95, to rest and advised her to miss a trip to the province, sparking speculation about the reason for the eleventh-hour cancellation.

It is understood the trip to an unnamed hospital in London on Wednesday afternoon was expected to be for a short stay for some preliminary investigations, so was not announced by the Palace at the time, as well as in order to protect the Queen’s medical privacy.  

Buckingham Palace said that the monarch stayed at the unnamed hospital overnight for the first time in eight years before she was discharged and returned to Windsor Castle at lunch today, where she is expected to recuperate for the rest of the week.

The Queen was understood to be in ‘good spirits’ and back at her desk at Windsor reading her official government red boxes. It is believed that her medical team acted out of caution to have her admitted yesterday and that the overnight stay was for practical reasons. 

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘Following medical advice to rest for a few days, the Queen attended hospital on Wednesday afternoon for some preliminary investigations, returning to Windsor Castle at lunchtime today, and remains in good spirits.’ 

Including her return from Balmoral, where she spent the summer, the Queen has travelled nearly 1,000 miles since the start of October. Last week, she was forced to start using a walking stick in public for the first time, a stark reminder of her advancing years. 

The 95-year-old was said to be disappointed not to be able to travel to Northern Ireland on Wednesday, and reluctantly heeded the advice of her royal physicians. 

She has had a busy schedule since returning from Balmoral at the start of October, and hosted a major Global Investment summit at Windsor Castle on Tuesday evening, where she looked bright and cheerful as she carried out her royal duties. 

The Queen arriving to attend the ceremonial opening of the sixth Senedd, in Cardiff, Wales on October 14, 2021

The Queen and Boris Johnson at a reception for the Global Investment Summit in Windsor Castle, October 19, 2021

The Queen and Boris Johnson at a reception for the Global Investment Summit in Windsor Castle, October 19, 2021

The Queen and Boris Johnson at a reception for the Global Investment Summit in Windsor Castle, October 19, 2021

The Queen and Boris Johnson at a reception for the Global Investment Summit in Windsor Castle, October 19, 2021

Boris Johnson attending a service to mark the centenary of the partition at St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh, October 21, 2021

Boris Johnson attending a service to mark the centenary of the partition at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh, October 21, 2021

Queen, 95, ‘is still set to host world leaders at Cop26 in Glasgow’ after ‘reluctantly’ cancelling today’s Northern Ireland trip on doctor’s advice – following another gruelling week of official engagements 

The Queen is still expected to meet world leaders at the Cop26 climate change conference in Glasgow despite cancelling a trip to Northern Ireland after she ‘reluctantly accepted medical advice to rest for the next few days’.

The 95-year-old monarch – who has been seen using a walking stick at engagements over the past week – is said to be in good spirits but disappointed not to be able to carry out the two-day trip.

The Queen has had a busy few days and hosted a major global investment summit at Windsor Castle yesterday evening. She also had engagements last week at the Welsh Senedd in Cardiff and Westminster Abbey in London.

The Queen is now resting at Windsor Castle and is still expected at this stage to host a reception in Scotland on November 1 for the Cop26 conference, although it is likely a view will be taken on this nearer the time.

The Queen is double-vaccinated, having been given her first jab by a household doctor at Windsor Castle on January 9 and her second at the end of March ahead of what was her first public appearance in five months.

Buckingham Palace would not comment on whether the head of state had received her booster Covid-19 jab, but given her age it is likely she has already had it. 

Royal sources had insisted there was no cause for concern, and stressed that the decision was made purely as a ‘precautionary’ measure.

There was no suggestion that the Queen had fallen ill and it was understood that her decision was not linked to Covid. It is understood she has received her booster jab.

But the monarch, who will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee next year, continues to stoically meet hundreds of work commitments each year – 30 years after most people have retired – and does suffer from recurrent back pain.

On Tuesday she hosted a summit for global investors and politicians at Windsor Castle, standing and shaking hands for around 40 minutes, the Mail was told.

A source said she was on ‘sparkling form’, welcoming guests including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and US presidential envoy John Kerry, telling Mr Kerry: ‘I saw you on telly the other night doing [Prince] William’s Earthshot Prize thing.’

As part of her planned trip to Northern Ireland, she had been expected to stay at Hillsborough Castle and undertake a series of public engagements there yesterday, staying overnight to attend a service to mark the centenary of Northern Ireland today.

It is highly unusual that such a major engagement would be cancelled at the last minute, suggesting staff are taking no chances with the head of state’s health, even if it is just precautionary.

Royal commentator Joe Little said the Queen’s age meant last-minute cancellations might become more frequent. The managing editor of Majesty magazine said: ‘When you get to the age of 95 and you have a role such as the Queen has, there is an inevitability about last-minute cancellations. Unfortunately, I think this is just how it’s going to have to be from time to time.’

He added: ‘Mentally, the Queen is pin-sharp as ever and when she makes speeches she speaks well. Every now and again there will be this reminder that she is 95 and she can’t do what was expected of her ten, 20 years ago.’

Mr Little said he believed the Queen would carry out fewer public engagements to mark her Platinum Jubilee than she did for her Diamond Jubilee.

And he said he did not believe she would agree to allow Charles to take over duties as a prince regent unless there was a ‘sharp deterioration’ in her health.

The Queen is expected to rest at Windsor Castle and aides said there were no plans to cancel her attendance at events for the UN climate summit in Glasgow at the end of this month.

She is likely to continue to hold private meetings at Windsor Castle next week but has no public engagements.

Her doctor’s advice will strengthen calls for her and her advisers to reconsider the number of engagements she undertakes. She has made schedule ‘tweaks’ and has handed over more arduous public duties such as investitures to other senior royals.

But there are some duties that only the reigning monarch can conduct. In recent weeks she has travelled to Holyrood and Cardiff to attend the opening of the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments, taken part in a tree planting at Balmoral and launched the Commonwealth Games baton relay at Buckingham Palace.

Last week she used a walking stick for the first time at a public event – at a service for the centenary of the Royal British Legion. She has also taken part in several audiences at Windsor.

A royal source said: ‘With her Platinum Jubilee on the horizon, many are thinking that perhaps her private office needs to look at the diary again.’

Another source said: ‘No one is saying that she should take a step back, but perhaps another slight step to one side might be in order.’

Earlier today, security sources had speculated whether the health scare was something of a ‘smokescreen’ with the centenary event becoming a ‘political hot potato’ after details of the Queen’s itinerary were leaked by Irish newspapers. 

The Irish Times previewed the Queen’s visit at the end of September and a leading security expert pointed out that details of the trip had been widely reported in Belfast. He said that revealing where the Queen would be ‘was as dangerous as it gets’. 

In the past, details of Royal visits to Northern Ireland were kept under wraps until the last moment. Off-record briefings would be given to the media on condition that the news would be embargoed until the visit was underway.  

There had also been confusion over the last-minute nature of the trip’s cancellation, especially as President Higgins’s invite rejection and the leaking of the Queen’s visit took place several weeks ago. 

One former minister told MailOnline: ‘I wonder whether it’s security being extra cautious. But in Her Majesty’s case, it is a bit of a trek… Security is possible, however Her Majesty is quite elderly.’

The Tory MP said that while Sinn Fein had taken a warm attitude towards the Queen over recent years, ‘you have got some renegades’. ‘Sinn Fein would have been welcoming but you have got breakaway factions as well.’ 

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