The United Kingdom's Queen Elizabeth II cancelled a meeting yesterday as she deals with a health issue, leading Britons and the press to wonder what was going on. Today, Buckingham Palace issued a statement stating that the Queen's doctors are "concerned" about her health, and that she is under medical supervision in her castle at Balmoral in Scotland. Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, and his wife have traveled to be with the queen, according to his office. Prince William, Charles's son who is second in line to the throne, was also on his way to Scotland, as were the queen's other sons, Andrew and Edward. Her daughter, Princess Anne, is already there.
Queen Elizabeth, who is 96 years old, has been the queen since 1952, when she was 25 years old. She has reigned over a number of major changes for the United Kingdom, including greater independence for Scotland and Northern Ireland; the decolonization of Africa; and both joining and leaving the European Union. Queen Elizabeth is the oldest and longest-serving incumbent head of state, and after 70 years is considered the second-longest reigning sovereign monarch in world history, behind France's Louis XIV, who served for 72 years from 1643 until 1715.
"Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen's doctors are concerned for Her Majesty's health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision," said the statement from the Crown. "The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral."
"The whole country will be deeply concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace this lunchtime," Liz Truss, the new prime minister of the United Kingdom, posted to Twitter. "My thoughts – and the thoughts of people across our United Kingdom – are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time."
While the royal family has dealt with years of controversies, and Prince Charles himself is a controversial public figure, the Queen has remained the stable center of the family in recent years. Earlier this year, as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee (which marked the 70th anniversary of her ascent to the throne), an original short film featuring Elizabeth and Paddington Bear premiered on the BBC, a collaboration of the BBC, Heyday Films, and Buckingham Palace.
On Tuesday, the queen spent the day at Balmoral -- her summer residence -- appointing Truss and overseeing a day-long symbolic transfer of power. Yesterday, she cancelled a meeting with other government leaders after her doctors advised her to take it easy for a while after the long day.