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Queen Elizabeth tests positive for COVID-19

Queen Elizabeth, 95, is experiencing mild symptoms but expects to continue light duties this week, Buckingham Palace said on Sunday.

Monarch, 95, experiencing mild symptoms, Buckingham Palace says

Queen Elizabeth tests positive for COVID-19

6 months ago
Duration 1:59
Queen Elizabeth tested positive for COVID-19, Buckingham Palace said. The 95-year-old monarch currently has mild symptoms and will continue 'light duties' from Windsor Castle this week.

Queen Elizabeth tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday and is experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, Buckingham Palace said, adding that the 95-year-old monarch would carry on working.

The palace said the Queen would continue with "light" duties at Windsor Castle over the coming week.

"She will continue to receive medical attention and will follow all the appropriate guidelines," the palace said in a statement.

People in the U.K. who test positive for COVID-19 are required to self-isolate for at least five days, though the British government says it plans to lift that requirement for England in the coming week.

The Queen has received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Both her eldest son, Prince Charles, 73, and 74-year-old daughter-in-law Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, have also recently contracted COVID-19. Charles has since returned to work.

Shortly after her diagnosis was made public, the Queen signed off on a congratulatory message to Great Britain's Olympic curling team, commending its performance in Beijing.

Britain's longest-reigning monarch, the Queen reached the milestone of 70 years on the throne on Feb. 6, the anniversary of the death in 1952 of her father, King George VI.

A fixture in the life of the nation, Queen Elizabeth has been in robust health for the majority of her reign. In the past year she has been seen using a walking stick, and in October she spent a night in a London hospital for unspecified tests.

The Queen's doctors ordered her to rest, and she was forced to cancel appearances at several key events, including Remembrance Sunday services and the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in November.

This month she returned to public duties and has held audiences both virtually and in person with diplomats, politicians and senior military officers.

The Queen speaks with Rear Admiral James Macleod, right, and Maj.-Gen. Eldon Millar as she meets the incoming and outgoing Defence Service secretaries on Feb. 16. She has received three doses of vaccine for COVID-19. (Steve Parsons/The Associated Press)

The Queen has a busy schedule over the next few months of her Platinum Jubilee year and is scheduled to attend in-person public engagements in the coming weeks, including a diplomatic reception at Windsor on March 2 and the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on March 14.

On March 29, she is due to attend a remembrance service at Westminster Abbey for her husband, Prince Philip, who died in April 2021, at the age of 99.

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Public celebrations of the Platinum Jubilee are scheduled for June, with festivities including a military parade, a day of horse-racing and neighbourhood parties over a June 2-5 long weekend.

The Queen is the latest monarch from around the world to catch COVID-19. Queen Margrethe of Denmark, 82, and Spain's King Felipe VI, 54, both tested positive for the illness earlier in February and had mild symptoms.

Swift and heartfelt reaction

News of the Queen's diagnosis drew shock, concern and messages of goodwill from all corners on Sunday, with politicians and the public willing the monarch to recover.

On a wet and blustery day, a few sightseers gathered at the gates of Windsor Castle, where the Queen is receiving medical treatment for mild symptoms. Others went online to express support, and message boards in the London Underground urged the monarch to "take it easy."

People gather outside Buckingham Palace in London after it was announced that Britain's Queen Elizabeth tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday. (May James/Reuters)

Julie and Rupert Wills, visiting Windsor to the west of London, said they loved the Queen "to bits," with Rupert respecting her ability to just "quietly get on with" things. Sanil Solanki, 43, described her as the nation's mother.

For 19-year-old Gerard Smith, the news came as a shock. "Everyone loves her," he said. "She can't do wrong to anyone. She's been there my whole lifetime and the lifetime of almost everyone. It's sad to hear. Hopefully she makes it through."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson led the official response.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also sent his best wishes.

The U.S. Embassy in London also wished her well. The chief minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, described the Queen as "a rock," in reference to the British territory's landscape.

With files from Reuters and CBC News

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