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The United Kingdom’s long-reigning Queen, Elizabeth II, has contracted Covid-19, it was announced on Sunday.
The announcement from Buckingham Palace officials stressed that the 95-year-old monarch has “mild” “cold-like” symptoms, according to The Hill, which was able to acquire a copy of the statement. Palace officials furthermore stated that the queen would be doing “light duties” at Castle Windsor.
“She will continue to receive medical attention and will follow all the appropriate guidelines,” said the palace statement.
The queen has been vaccinated, and publicly confirmed that she has received three doses.
This will be the third member of the British royal family to have contracted Covid-19. Prince Charles, the Heir Apparent to the British throne, and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, were also recently diagnosed with the disease. Charles, however, has recovered and returned to his duties. At time of writing, there has not been any indication that Camilla is in critical condition, and all public reports expect a full recovery.
There was a several month hiatus for the queen from the public eye, after her doctors told her to take it easy and rest following an overnight hospital stay in October for medical tests. This led to cancellations of several events, such as Remembrance Sunday services for the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, which provoked speculation about her health. However, the queen had recently returned to a more visible public presence prior to testing positive for Covid-19, which had mostly quieted the gossip.
Several upcoming scheduled appearances, such as various audiences with an assortment of officials and dignitaries (the “government” of the UK, the cabinet, formally informs her of major issues and plans, even if the cabinet and ruling party in Parliament make all meaningful decisions). The queen is also slated to appear at a diplomatic reception at Castle Windsor on the 2nd of March, and a Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on the 14th of March. These engagements remain in place, and the queen is expected to be present.
Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning monarch in British history, and is even a top contender for longest-reigning monarch in history, coming in 4th place after celebrating 70 years on the throne, her “Platinum Jubilee,” on February 6th. The current top spot is held by Louis XIV of France, the legendary “Sun King” who built the Palace of Versailles, who reigned for 72 years and 110 days – only a few years ahead of Elizabeth II.
Public celebrations of her Platinum Jubilee will be held in June, and will include such spectacles as a military parade, horse racing, and various neighborhood parties over June 2nd through the 5th, a long weekend for Britons.
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