The Queen was admitted to hospital this afternoon suffering from symptoms of gastroenteritis in the latest in a series of health scares to hit the royal family.
Royal aides told the Royalist this afternoon that the 86-year old Monarch was “in good spirits” and is expected to stay at the King Edward VII hospital in central London – scene of the Kate Middleton prank call - for two days.
All official engagements for this week, including a trip to Italy, have been either “postponed or cancelled” as a “precaution”, Buckingham Palace said in an official statement, which noted that the Queen was being ‘assessed’.
The Queen fulfilled a personal engagement with a staff member receiving a long-service award this morning, but started to feel unwell after lunch and was admitted to hospital at about 3pm. She travelled from Windsor by private car.
She is believed to have contracted the virulent norovirus which is currently rampant in the UK.
The news comes after her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, recently experienced three bouts of ill health.
Over a period of eight months he was hospitalized twice with a bladder infection and he spent Christmas 2011 in hospital after suffering a heart attack. He was subsequently fitted with a stent.
On Friday the Queen hosted an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, where she presented a number of Olympic stars, with honors, but hours later the palace announced she would not be attending a St David’s Day leek-presentation ceremony in Wales (the leek is the national symbol of Wales).
The Queen has rarely missed royal engagements due to ill health.
She was forced to pull out of an investiture ceremony in October last year after suffering with a bad back and missed a visit to the British Museum in October 2011 because of a cold.
The Queen was last in hospital ten years ago.