Queen Elizabeth II is 95 years old, and she’s been on the throne since 1952.
In other words, she’s quite old, and while we hope that she reigns for another 20 years, the reality of the situation is that at the Queen’s age, even the most minor of health issues is cause for concern, and palace officials have had a succession plan in place for decades.
The Queen’s health is monitored closely at all times, and nothing is left to chance.
So when the sovereign was hospitalized this week and palace officials made no public mention of it, the move was perceived by many as a deliberate attempt to deceive the public.
The trouble began on Wednesday, when the Queen abruptly canceled plans to travel to Northern Ireland mark 100 years since the partition of the island of Ireland.
It’s not often that royal engagements of this kind are suddenly scrapped, so the cancelation prompted widespread concern.
Buckingham Palace addressed these worries with a statement claiming that the Queen had been ordered by her doctors to get some rest at home.
But as UK tabloid The Sun later revealed that the Queen had checked into a nearby hospital.
When confronted with the fact that the truth had been made public, palace officials decided to come clean and admit that the Queen’s condition was more serious than they had previously let on.
"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," reads a statement released on Thursday.
Palace officials now claim that the Queen made the decision to check into the hospital for "practical reasons" and not because of an emergency.
As several media outlets have pointed out, the Queen has been traveling all over the UK for public engagements this month, so it’s possible that the hospitalization was related to mere exhaustion.
Palace officials say the monarch was back at her desk on Thursday and spent Friday resting in bed, per doctor’s orders.
So while it’s a little troubling that the Queen’s retainers felt the need to lie to the public about her condition, it’s possible that there’s no cause for immediate concern.
And as CNN reports the Queen recently seized an opportunity to remind the entire UK that she doesn’t consider herself old.
Offered the title of "Oldie of the Year" by a British magazine, Elizabeth "politely but firmly" turned the offer down on the grounds that she "doesn’t meet the relevant criteria."
"Her Majesty believes you are as old as you feel, as such the Queen does not believe she meets the relevant criteria to be able to accept, and hopes you will find a more worthy recipient," read a statement from the palace.
So at least we know the Queen hasn’t lost the wry wit that’s been a source of delight for so many decades.
We wish her a speedy recovery, and we hope that she’ll be back on her feet in no time.