Queen’s family travel to Balmoral Castle as doctors announce concerns for her health

Buckingham Palace: Queen's doctors are concerned for her health
The Royal Family Visit Scotland Armed Forces Act Of Loyalty Parade

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – JUNE 28: Queen Elizabeth II attends an Armed Forces Act of Loyalty Parade at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on June 28, 2022 in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. Members of the Royal Family are spending a Royal Week in Scotland, carrying out a number of engagements between Monday June 27 and Friday July 01, 2022. (Photo by Jane Barlow – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Originally Published: 08 SEP 22 07:48 ET
Updated: 08 SEP 22 11:17 ET

(CNN) — Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II’s family are traveling to Balmoral Castle in Scotland after the monarch’s doctors announced on Thursday they were “concerned” for her health.

In a rare statement on the Queen’s health, Buckingham Palace said Thursday the monarch was advised to remain under medical supervision because of the doctors’ concerns.

“The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral (Castle),” the statement added.

The announcement came just hours after Buckingham Palace announced the Queen, 96, had postponed a virtual meeting of her Privy Council on Wednesday after being advised by doctors to rest.

The monarch was scheduled to attend the gathering after formally appointing Liz Truss as the new UK Prime Minister. Truss is the 15th prime minister appointed by the Queen during her 70-year reign.

The Queen’s four children have traveled to, or are already at, Balmoral. Prince Charles, the Queen’s oldest son and the heir apparent to the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, arrived at Balmoral earlier on Thursday, according to a statement from Clarence House.

The Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, known as the Princess Royal, was already at the Scottish castle, a royal source told CNN. The source added that Prince Edward, the Queen’s youngest son, and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, were traveling to Balmoral. A source close to Prince Andrew said the Duke of York was also heading there.

Kensington Palace said Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, who is second in line for the throne, was en route, while his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, has remained at Windsor, where their three children are at their first day at a new school.

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, were also on their way to Balmoral, a spokesperson for the couple said.

There have been concerns over the Queen’s health ever since a brief hospital stay last October. The monarch has experienced episodic mobility issues, which have at times caused her to withdraw from official engagements.

The Queen’s meeting with Truss would traditionally have taken place at London’s Buckingham Palace, but the monarch has significantly reduced her duties and travel in recent months because of the mobility issues. Instead, the new prime minister traveled to Scotland for her audience with the Queen.

Truss tweeted Thursday that “the whole country will be deeply concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace this lunchtime.”

“My thoughts — and the thoughts of people across our United Kingdom — are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time,” Truss added.

Appointing a new prime minister is one of the Queen’s core ceremonial responsibilities as Head of State — with others being the State Opening of Parliament and the signing of parliamentary bills into law.

In May, the Queen missed the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in 59 years. The palace cited the monarch’s “episodic mobility problems” but declined to divulge further details citing patient confidentiality.

Instead, Princes Charles and William took center stage at the event, with the heir to the throne reading the government’s legislative agenda for the year ahead on his mother’s behalf.

Global reaction

It is extremely unusual for Buckingham Palace to comment publicly on the Queen’s health and the announcement on Thursday sparked a flood of messages expressing concern and well wishes from across the UK and around the world.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby extended his prayers to the Queen, saying: “May God’s presence strengthen and comfort Her Majesty, her family, and those who are caring for her at Balmoral.”

“My prayers, and the prayers of people across the Church of England and the nation, are with Her Majesty The Queen today,” Welby said on Twitter.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said in a statement: “On behalf of every nation and citizen of the Commonwealth family, I send my best wishes to Her Majesty and the Royal Family. She will remain in my prayers.”

The Commonwealth is an association of 56 countries. Its roots go back to the British Empire but any country can join the modern Commonwealth.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that her thoughts and wishes were with the Queen, while First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said he was “concerned” to hear the news from Buckingham Palace, and sent “best wishes” to the monarch.

UK Labour leader Keir Starmer said he was “deeply worried” by the news from the palace.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a tweet that “the thoughts of Canadians across the country, are with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at this time. We’re wishing her well, and sending our best to the Royal Family.” The Queen is the head of state of Canada.

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