Palace accused of not giving complete picture about Queen’s health

Buckingham Palace is being accused of allowing rumours to “thrive” by being secretive about the Queen’s health, after it emerged she spent a night in hospital.

The palace, which said on Wednesday the Queen had “reluctantly accepted” medical advice to rest, was later forced to confirm the monarch had been in hospital overnight, after the story was leaked to a newspaper.

Royal commentators have questioned how the situation was dealt with, urging the Palace to act with more transparency.

“The problem, it seems to me, is that rumour and misinformation always thrives in the absence of proper, accurate and trustworthy information,” Nicholas Witchell, the BBC’s royal correspondent, said.

“We’re told that she’s in good spirits. That would certainly be in line with her stoical character, but that’s a phrase that’s a little bit of a cliche now.

“We’re told that she is back at Windsor Castle undertaking light duties. Well, we must hope we can place reliance on what the palace is telling us.”

In response to a story in The Sun, the Palace released a statement on Thursday saying: “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.”

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said the issue of revealing details about the Her Majesty's health is troublesome.

“This is a tricky one because the Queen does have a right to a certain degree of privacy,” he said. “But on the other hand, she’s head of state. So does that entitle us to know exactly what ailments she may or may not have? It’s a very difficult one to get the balance right for the satisfaction of everybody.”