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Queen Leaves Hospital

Panic’s over.

The Queen, smiling and looking well, left King Edward VII Hospital in London shortly after 2:30pm today, after 24 hours of treatment for gastroenteritis.

A spokesperson said the Queen was “grateful to staff at the hospital and was very touched by the many messages wishing her a speedy recovery."

The Queen walked unaided into the King Edward VII hospital yesterday afternoon with symptoms of gastroenteritis, the first time she has been hospitalised in 10 years.

The palace has flatly refused to confirm the exact nature of her illness or treatment, but it is thought that the Queen’s gastroenteritis has been caused by the virulent norovirus, a winter vomiting bug. The bug usually last just 24 hours but it is clear that the Queen has received a particularly nasty dose. She has been unwell since Friday.

Older victims of norovirus infection—the Queen will turn 87 next month—are most often hospitalised to combat dehydration.

The Queen is proud of her robust health, and despite suffering from debilitating sciatica for several years, she has missed only two public engagements in the last two years.

However, given that last year she undertook more than 400 public engagements, questions are being asked once again about whether it is time to scale back her commitments.

Senior advisers have been urging her to do so for many years, but she tends to dismiss them, replying, “I have to be seen to be believed.”

The Queen will however spend the rest of the week resting. Her next public engagement is on Monday, when she will carry out a day of Commonwealth-related engagements, including a service at Westminster Abbey where she will address a 2,000-strong congregation.

The discharge of the Queen today—24 hours earlier than even the most optimistic had hoped—will come as a relief as rumours that her condition may have been more serious than the palace were letting on were beginning to circulate. The queen is famously averse to hospitals, and her very agreement to be admitted led to some speculation that her health was in greater danger.

Fortunately, the rumors have turned out to be only that.