Royal family members gather by Queen Elizabeth's side as health concerns swirl
Updated September 8, 2022 at 12:07 PM ET
Queen Elizabeth II is under medical supervision at Balmoral Castle in Scotland after her doctors became worried about her health.
Members of the royal family are already by the queen's bedside in Balmoral — and others are on their way — after her doctors placed the 96-year-old monarch under medical supervision Thursday, the British media, including the BBC and The Guardian, reported.
"Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen's doctors are concerned for Her Majesty's health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
The BBC reported that the statement — and the fact that family members are traveling to her — marks a significant change in her situation. The health of the longest-serving ruler in British history has been of concern in recent years, and more so over the summer.
Prince Charles, the queen's oldest son and heir to the throne, represented Elizabeth at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in late July.
When she arrived in Balmoral for her summer break, a welcome ceremony was moved indoors to accommodate her mobility issues, The Guardian reported. Elizabeth also missed the Braemar Gathering highland games earlier this month.
Before leaving office, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the queen in Balmoral this week, as did incoming Prime Minister Liz Truss.
A Privy Council meeting was postponed Wednesday after doctors advised the queen to get some rest, according to The Guardian.
At 96, Elizabeth has served longer than any other British ruler, and is the second longest-reigning monarch in history. The United Kingdom celebrated her 70 years on the throne with a Platinum Jubilee in June.
The monarchy is the head of the United Kingdom, but the role of making and passing legislation remains with Parliament, according to Buckingham Palace. Instead, the queen's role serves more as a focus of national identity and provides the people with a sense of stability and continuity.
Elizabeth and her late husband Prince Phillip, who died in April 2021, have four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. They also have eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
The family occupy numerous castles and residences across the U.K., with the queen typically residing at Buckingham Palace in London. The queen spent much of her childhood at Balmoral, the royal family's Scottish estate where Elizabeth is currently under medical supervision
Earlier this summer, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who s tepped back from their royal duties in 2020, traveled from their home in California to the U.K. to participate in the Platinum Jubilee. It was was their first to the country since breaking from their royal duties, the BBC reported. Harry, already in London this week for a previously scheduled charity event, is now said to be on his way to Balmoral as well, while Markle remains in London, the Guardian reported.
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