by Wesley Johnson and The Telegraph

March 3, 2013 (TSR) – Her Majesty, who is 86, is expected to stay at the King Edward VII hospital in London for two days and is otherwise said to be in “good health and good spirits”.

A Royal visit to Rome planned for later this week will be cancelled or postponed, Buckingham Palace confirmed.

The Queen gave a long-service award to a member of staff this morning but started to feel unwell after lunch and was admitted to hospital about 3pm.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “The Queen is being assessed at the King Edward VII’s Hospital, London, after experiencing symptoms of gastroenteritis.

“As a precaution, all official engagements for this week will regrettably be either postponed or cancelled.”

Downing Street said that Prime Minister David Cameron had passed on his best wishes to the Queen.

The Queen was due to attend a military celebration in Swansea on Saturday for St David’s Day celebrations, but was forced to cancel because of the sickness.

A visit to HMS Lancaster planned for Tuesday will also be cancelled or postponed.

The Queen has rarely taken time off due to illness during her six decades as monarch.

She was last admitted to the same hospital in December 2003 for an operation on her left knee.

The damage appeared to be due to her advancing age or general wear and tear rather than a specific injury.

At the same time, surgeons removed minor – non-cancerous – lesions from her face in a double procedure lasting an hour and a quarter.

She cancelled and postponed engagements but was fully active again in a few weeks.

The operation followed similar surgery on her right knee in January of the same year to remove torn cartilage after she jarred the knee walking on rough ground during a private visit to Newmarket, Suffolk.

The Queen was taken to hospital by private car from Windsor Castle on the advice of her physician, Prof John Cunningham.

Despite the fact she appeared in good health and good spirits otherwise, Prof Cunningham felt the “assessment of her health could better be carried out in hospital”, Royal sources said.

As the world’s media gathered outside the same hospital, in Marylebone, central London, where the Duchess of Cambridge was treated for morning sickness last year, a pair of Metropolitan Police officers guarded the front door.

This article first appeared in The Telegraph.


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