Queen health: Former royal protection officer opens up on Her Majesty’s hospital stays

Queen 'determined' for Sandringham Christmas says Sacerdoti

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The Queen was last in hospital on October 20, when she was admitted to undergo “preliminary tests” – the nature or results of which have not been disclosed. But Buckingham Palace did say Her Majesty had been taken to King Edward VII Hospital, located within London’s Harley Street medical district.

Ken Wharfe, Princess Diana’s ex-personal protection officer, has since offered an insight into the treatment members of the Royal Family receive when are admitted to this hospital.

He told OK! magazine: “Whenever the royals are admitted to hospital, unless they’re outside of London, they’re always admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital so they can receive the appropriate treatment.”

He continued: “As part of the contingency plan, there are designated physicians that deal with the family’s known conditions, so they are treated by the best.

“That’s why the Queen will always be admitted to that particular hospital where the right medical officers can be summoned.”

At this hospital, the privacy and security of the royals can be guaranteed, Mr Wharfe added.

He said: “There’s a designated corridor which will be manned at a discreet and respective distance by officers from the protection department.

“We have to maintain the best security possible but in a way that’s not invasive and respects the privacy of the royal family at this time.”

King Edward VII Hospital has been enjoying royal patronage since the reign of the Queen’s great-grandfather.

Today, the royal patron of the hospital is the Queen herself and its president is her first cousin the Duke of Kent.

The private hospital counts only 56 beds and, according to its website, offers “one of the lowest patient-to-nurse ratios in the UK”.

Prince Charles was admitted to the hospital in 2003 to have a hernia removed, while the Duchess of Cambridge received treatment for severe morning sickness in 2012 and Prince Philip was also treated there.

The Duke of Edinburgh last stayed at this hospital between February and March, where he was treated for an infection and cared for after undergoing a heart procedure for a pre-existing condition at St Bartholomew’s Hospital.

Philip, who died in early April aged 99, had already been admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in the past – including in the run-up to Christmas 2019.

Prior to the Queen’s visit to this hospital in October, Her Majesty was last admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in 2013 to be treated for symptoms of gastroenteritis.

A decade prior, she had undergone an operation at the private clinic to remove a torn cartilage in her left knee.

Buckingham Palace sparked health concerns for the sovereign two months ago after it announced the monarch had agreed to pull out of a planned two-day visit to Northern Ireland and rest for a few days.

She has since cancelled all her in-person events outside of palace walls.

On November 14, after the palace had announced the Queen would interrupt her period of rest to attend the National Service of Remembrance, it was announced she could no longer attend the ceremony due to a back injury.

Despite her doctors’ orders, the Queen has continued to carry out her day-to-day duties, including dealing with the Government’s red boxes.

And she has been completing several in-person and remote audiences with diplomats and honourees.

Her close family members have picked up some of her duties, including leading investiture ceremonies.

The Queen, who has been staying at Windsor Castle since the beginning of the pandemic, was last spotted in public in November when she attended the double christening of Lucas Tindall and August Brooksbank at the nearby All Saints Chapel.

She had been previously seen in Sandringham, where she travelled for a long weekend to reportedly speak to staff and prepare the residence ahead of the Christmas celebrations.

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