Carry on Queen: Monarch to keep working despite catching Covid in Windsor Castle outbreak

20 February 2022, 11:49 | Updated: 20 February 2022, 23:31

Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid are among those to send wellwishes to the Queen, who has tested positive for Covid after meeting with Prince Charles
Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid are among those to send wellwishes to the Queen, who has tested positive for Covid after meeting with Prince Charles. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

The Queen will carry on working this week despite testing positive for Covid after an outbreak of the virus in Windsor Castle.

The monarch, 95, tested positive on Sunday and is experiencing "mild cold-like symptoms", but Buckingham Palace has confirmed she expects to carry out "light duties" this week.

Messages of support have poured in for her, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson writing on Twitter: "I'm sure I speak for everyone in wishing Her Majesty The Queen a swift recovery from Covid and a rapid return to vibrant good health."

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Sajid Javid wrote: "Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a quick recovery."

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi and Home Secretary Priti Patel both wrote "God save the Queen" in their tributes.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer wrote: "On behalf of myself and the whole of @UKLabour, wishing Her Majesty The Queen good health and a speedy recovery. Get well soon, Ma'am."

The head of state has fallen ill after it was confirmed she had been in direct contact with her eldest son and heir, the Prince of Wales, the week he had the virus.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "Buckingham Palace confirm that The Queen has today tested positive for Covid.

"Her Majesty is experiencing mild cold-like symptoms but expects to continue light duties at Windsor over the coming week.

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"She will continue to receive medical attention and will follow all the appropriate guidelines."

Following the announcement, the Queen sent a message of congratulations to Team GB's Olympic medal-winning curling teams.

"I know that your local communities and people throughout the United Kingdom will join me in sending our good wishes to you, your coaches and the friends and family who have supported you in your great success," she said.

The Queen's next public duty is a reception at Windsor Castle on March 2, according to royal writer Joe Little, by which time she should "hopefully" have recovered from the virus.

The shock announcement was made just a few weeks after the nation's longest-reigning monarch reached her historic Platinum Jubilee of 70 years on the throne on February 6.

Concern across the nation will be at peak levels for the Queen, given her advanced age and her health scare in recent months.

She is incredibly popular, in a country where many have known no other monarch on the throne.

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The Royal Household has its own royal physicians and the Queen's doctors will be on hand to take care of and monitor the head of state, with Professor Sir Huw Thomas, head of the Medical Household and Physician to the Queen, expected to be in charge.

The Queen is understood to be triple vaccinated but she had been on doctors' order to rest since mid October, after cancelling a run of engagements and spending a night in hospital undergoing preliminary tests.

She is believed to have spent time with Charles on Tuesday February 8 - days after she carried out her first major public engagement for more than three months when she met charity workers at Sandringham house - when her son hosted an investiture at her Windsor Castle home.

The Queen celebrated 70 years on the throne on February 6
The Queen celebrated 70 years on the throne on February 6. Picture: Alamy

The Queen is the oldest member of the royal family to contract Covid and her positive test follows a run of relatives catching the disease.

The Prince of Wales, 73, emerged from isolation on Thursday after his second bout of the illness.

The Duchess of Cornwall's positive test was announced last Monday - the first time the 74-year-old has had coronavirus.

Heir to the throne Charles first caught Covid in March 2020 - in the early days of the pandemic when the vaccine was not yet available.

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The Duke of Cambridge, now 39, had the virus in April 2020 but kept it a secret.

The fact only emerged seven months later, with The Sun newspaper revealing the duke did not want to alarm the nation.

The duke, who carried on with telephone and online engagements, was treated by royal doctors as he isolated in Norfolk but that he was hit "pretty hard" by the virus and at one stage struggled to breathe, the newspaper said.

In December 2021, the Princess Royal's husband Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence tested positive, meaning Anne and Admiral Sir Timothy could not join the Queen on Christmas Day at Windsor.

Princess Michael of Kent, 77, who is married to the Queen's cousin Prince Michael of Kent, suffered severe symptoms when struck down with Covid-19 in November 2020.

She is understood to have had bad lungs as a child making her more susceptible to the disease.

Other monarchs from around the world have also been infected with the virus.

Queen Margrethe of Denmark, 82, and Spain's King Felipe VI, 54, both tested positive for the illness on February 9 and had mild symptoms.