LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II was hospitalized Sunday over an apparent stomach infection that has ailed her for days, a rare instance of ill health sidelining the long-reigning monarch. Elizabeth will have to cancel a visit to Rome and other engagements as she recovers, and outside experts said she may have to be rehydrated intravenously.
Buckingham Palace said the 86-year-old queen had experienced symptoms of gastroenteritis and was being examined at London’s King Edward VII Hospital — the first time in a decade that Elizabeth has been hospitalized.
“As a precaution, all official engagements for this week will regrettably be either postponed or cancelled,” the palace said in a statement. Elizabeth’s two-day trip to Rome had been planned to start Wednesday. A spokeswoman said the trip may be “reinstated” at a later date.
The symptoms of gastroenteritis — vomiting and diarrhea — usually pass after one or two days, although they can be more severe in older or otherwise vulnerable people. Dehydration is a common complication.
The illness was first announced Friday, and Elizabeth had to cancel a visit Swansea, Wales, on Saturday to present leeks — a national symbol — to soldiers of the Royal Welsh Regiment in honor of Wales’ national day, St. David’s Day. She instead spent the day trying to recover at Windsor Castle, but appears to have had trouble kicking the bug.
A doctor not involved in the queen’s treatment said that if medical officials determined that she is losing too much fluid, she would be rehydrated intravenously.
“Not everyone can keep up with oral hydration so it is pretty routine to go to hospital and have a drip and wait for the thing to pass and keep yourself hydrated,” said Dr. Christopher Hawkey of the University of Nottingham’s faculty of medicine and health sciences.
Britain’s National Health Service says that the two most common causes of gastroenteritis in adults are food poisoning and the norovirus, a common winter vomiting bug which typically afflicts between 600,000 and 1 million Britons each year. British health guidelines advise that people with the norovirus avoid work for at least two days.
“It’s very infectious and strikes in winter because people are indoors and it spreads more easily,” Hawkey said.
Elizabeth has ruled since 1952 and is Britain’s second-longest serving monarch, beaten only by Queen Victoria in terms of the number of years spent on the throne.
Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip, 91, has had several hospital stays, but Elizabeth has rarely let sickness get in the way of her still-busy schedule.
About five months ago, she cancelled an engagement due to a bad back. The spokeswoman, who demanded anonymity because palace rules do not let her go on the record, said the last time Elizabeth was hospitalized was in 2003 for a knee operation.
The queen has undertaken a number of engagements over the past week. On Tuesday, she met the new archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, at Buckingham Palace, and on Thursday she presented a host of British Olympians, including track and field star Jessica Ennis, with honors during an investiture ceremony.
Ingrid Seward, the editor of the Britain’s Majesty Magazine, said that the queen “probably agreed to be hospitalized in order to get better quickly.”
“Everybody will want to be wishing her a speedy recovery,” she told Sky News television.
That includes British Prime Minister David Cameron, whose office said he passed on his best wishes to the queen.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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