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Queen’s visit to COP26 ‘hangs in the balance’ and monarch’s appearance will be ‘guided by doctors’

The Queen‘s appearance among world leaders at the COP26 summit is hanging in the balance as she waits for guidance and ‘test results’ from doctors after being admitted to hospital this week.

The monarch, 95, had planned to join Prince Charles and Prince William at the COP26 conference in Scotland on November 1.

But royal sources have indicated her appearance at the event is said to ‘hang in the balance’, after she spent a night under the care of specialist doctors at the King Edward VII hospital in Marylebone, London.  

The Palace said that the monarch was discharged on Thursday morning and returned to Windsor Castle at lunchtime, where she is expected to recuperate for the rest of the week.  

The Queen’s appearance among world leaders at the COP26 summit in Glasgow is hanging ‘in the balance’ as she waits for guidance and ‘test results’ from doctors after being admitted to hospital this week

It is understood the trip to the private King Edward VII's Hospital in London (pictured) on Wednesday afternoon was expected to be for a short stay for some 'preliminary investigations'

It is understood the trip to the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in London (pictured) on Wednesday afternoon was expected to be for a short stay for some ‘preliminary investigations’ 

The monarch, 95, had planned to join Prince Charles and Prince William at the COP26 conference in Scotland on November 1

The monarch, 95, had planned to join Prince Charles and Prince William at the COP26 conference in Scotland on November 1

The Queen’s busy October schedule before a night in hospital

– October 6: The Queen holds two virtual audiences at Windsor with the Greek ambassador and the ambassador for Belize.

She meets Canadian troops from 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, and later has a telephone audience with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

– October 7: The Queen, with the Earl of Wessex, launches the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games from the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.

– October 12: The Queen, accompanied by the Princess Royal, attends a Westminster Abbey service of thanksgiving to mark the centenary of the Royal British Legion.

She uses a walking stick at the abbey – the first time she has done so at a major event.

– October 13: The monarch has a face-to-face audience with pianist Dame Imogen Cooper to present her with the Queen’s Medal for Music. She also holds three other audiences.

– October 14: On an away day to Cardiff, the Queen delivers a speech at the sixth session of the Welsh Senedd.

– October 16: The Queen enjoys a day at the races at Ascot, and presents the trophy after the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes during the Qipco British Champions Day.

– October 18: She holds a virtual audience with the new Governor-General of New Zealand, Dame Cindy Kiro.

– October 19: The Queen has three engagements – two virtual audiences with the Japanese ambassador and the EU ambassador, and then hosts an evening reception at Windsor Castle to mark the Global Investment Summit.

MailOnline understands that any future commitments, such as COP26, were still in the Queen’s diary but would have to be confirmed nearer the time.

It is believed that her private office is waiting for the results of the preliminary tests and will see how the elderly monarch feels over the next few days.  

The global climate summit is set to take place in Glasgow from Sunday October 31, to Friday November 12. 

But Royal doctors ordered Her Majesty to rest and advised her to miss a trip to Northern Ireland this week, sparking speculation about the reason for the eleventh-hour cancellation.

The Queen was understood to be in ‘good spirits’ and back at her desk reading her official government red boxes on Thursday. Her admission is understood not to have been related to coronavirus. 

Buckingham Palace said medics took an ‘understandably cautious approach’, adding the Queen’s admission was for ‘practical reasons’, with just a week remaining before she was due to appear at COP26.

The monarch returned home to Windsor Castle on Thursday afternoon and is due to commence a schedule of ‘light duties’ once she hears back from doctors. 

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 [Thursday], and remains in good spirits.’ 

A palace source told the Mirror: ‘The Queen is in good spirits and will continue to take a period of rest over the next few days.

‘She will be guided by her doctors on what is appropriate in terms of her duties.’

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.

The Queen still keeps a busy diary of events and audiences and deals with her daily red boxes of official papers. 

Since she returned to Windsor from her summer break at Balmoral, the Queen has carried out 15 engagements, listed in the Court Circular, including her audiences, plus an additional trip to Ascot.

Downing Street did not confirm whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson held his usual weekly address with Her Majesty on Wednesday. Any such meeting has not yet been listed in the Court Circular – the official record of any royal engagement.

The sovereign, whose husband the Duke of Edinburgh died just six months ago aged 99, has had a busy schedule since returning from Balmoral at the start of October. 

Including her return from the royal estate in Aberdeenshire, where she spent the summer, the Queen has travelled nearly 1,000 miles this month. 

Last week, she was forced to start using a walking stick in public for the first time – a stark reminder of her advancing years. 

And on Tuesday evening she hosted a major Global Investment summit at Windsor Castle, where she looked bright and cheerful as she carried out her royal duties. 

Aides had said they were still confident she will be well enough to undertake a series of meetings and audiences next week, and also lead the Royal Family at the Cop26 climate change summit in Glasgow at the beginning of November. 

In other developments, the BBC’s veteran royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell called out Buckingham Palace on live TV and accused them of deliberately telling the media that the Queen was resting at Windsor Castle when she was actually in hospital. 

The Queen at a reception to mark the Global Investment Summit, at Windsor Castle, October 19, 2021

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

The monarch returned home to Windsor Castle on Thursday afternoon and is due to commence a schedule of 'light duties' once she hears back from doctors. Pictured: Police cars practice outside the COP26 summit in Glasgow this week.

The monarch returned home to Windsor Castle on Thursday afternoon and is due to commence a schedule of ‘light duties’ once she hears back from doctors. Pictured: Police cars practice outside the COP26 summit in Glasgow this week.

Downing Street did not confirm whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured) held his usual weekly address with Her Majesty on Wednesday

Downing Street did not confirm whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured) held his usual weekly address with Her Majesty on Wednesday

Mr Witchell, who was famously branded an ‘awful man’ by Prince Charles, told BBC Breakfast that her Majesty’s aides had failed to give Britain ‘the full picture’ and only admitted the truth after the news leaked last night. 

It came as the Queen’s driver took her beloved corgis for a walk at Windsor this afternoon – a job Her Majesty would usually do herself. But the monarch, 95, is working at her desk this afternoon, Boris Johnson has said. 

Mr Witchell told BBC viewers: ‘We were led to believe on Wednesday that the Queen was resting at Windsor Castle. As we were being told that, and relaying it to our viewers and newspapers to their readers, in fact she was in hospital’.

He said: ‘The palace would say the Queen is entitled to patient confidentiality and medical privacy, not withstanding that she is the head of state and millions of people around the world would be concerned’. 

‘We must hope that we can rely on what the palace is now telling us,’ he added, calling assurances that the queen was in good spirits ‘a handy phrase that the palace dusts off at moments such as this’.

Royal author Robert Jobson told MailOnline: ‘Medical privacy is one thing, but on matters of fact, trust between the palace and correspondents is paramount. When the PM was in hospital, the Lobby were told.

‘Personally, I think it was poor judgement [by the palace] and makes it difficult to believe anything we are told at face value’.


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