Queen Elizabeth II of England died at 96, after Buckingham Palace released a statement earlier in the day, expressing concerns about her health. That the monarch was in a fragile state became evident when there was a last-moment cancellation of a virtual meeting with the Privy Council of senior ministers.
However, the queen’s health has been a pressing concern for some time now.
The Queen was seen with a cane for the first time since 2003, at a Service of Thanksgiving marking the Centenary of the Royal British Legion. The last time she’d used a walking stick was while recovering from knee surgery.
Later in the same month, she cancelled a scheduled trip to Scotland, after advice from her doctors. Queen Elizabeth II had also spent a night in the hospital on October 20, with an official update stating that she remained in good spirits after her overnight stay during which time doctors had conducted preliminary investigations.
She also missed the United Nations COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow after her doctors advised two weeks of bed rest following her hospitalization and the queen performed “light, desk-based duties” during that time.
There were reports, as per The Sun in late October that the queen had not ridden her favourite ponies since late September due to discomfort, and doctors had also advised her to give up her favourite evening drink, which is a martini, a family friend told Vanity Fair.
The Queen did not show up at the Remembrance Day ceremony on November 14, due to a sprained back.
Queen Elizabeth II did not celebrate a traditional Christmas with the family at Sandringham, due to the spike in COVID cases around that time.
The Royal Palace announced on February 20 that the queen had contracted COVID. “Her Majesty is experiencing mild cold-like symptoms but expects to continue light duties at Windsor over the coming week”, the statement read.
On June 2, the Royal Palace said that Queen Elizabeth II would take a break during the Platinum Jubilee celebration after the Trooping the Colour celebrations left her feeling a little discomfort.
She attended the beacon lighting ceremony but missed the national service of thanksgiving in her honour the next day. The Queen had missed the Epsom Derby on June 4 due to mobility issues.
The Royal Family, after her death, said “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”