Published : 2013-03-05 19:31
Updated : 2013-03-05 19:31
LONDON (AFP) ― Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II smiled as she left a London hospital on Monday following a 24-hour stay, having been assessed for gastroenteritis symptoms.
It was the first time in 10 years that the 86-year-old monarch had been admitted to hospital. The illness forced her to call off a visit to Rome this week, which would have been her first overseas trip since October 2011.
The monarch, wearing a scarlet coat with a brooch and carrying a black handbag on her left arm, shook hands with a uniformed member of staff on the steps of King Edward VII’s Hospital in central London as she left.
The queen was driven away in a luxury Bentley, accompanied by a protection officer and police motorcycle outriders.
Britain’s head of state is known for enjoying robust health and rarely misses engagements.
Illustrating her determined spirit, the queen, who first felt unwell on Friday, reportedly presented a long-service medal to a staff member before being driven to hospital on Sunday.
The sovereign, accompanied by her 91-year-old husband Prince Philip, had been due visit Rome on Wednesday and Thursday, but all her engagements for this week have now been called off.
The royals had been scheduled to receive a ceremonial welcome, meet Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and attend a private lunch, before visiting the Pantheon monument.
No announcement has been made on whether the Rome visit will be rescheduled.