12 Mar 2013

Queen cancels official engagement after illness

6:38 am on 12 March 2013

The Queen has cancelled an official engagement due to illness following her recent hospitalisation with symptoms of gastroenteritis but officals said there was no serious concern about her health.

Last Monday, the 86-year-old monarch left hospital after three days of treatment for a stomach bug, having been forced to cancel a planned visit to Italy.

Buckingham Palace said she would not attend the Commonwealth observance at Westminster Abbey on Monday as she continued to recover following her recent illness.

The spokesman said the Queen was otherwise in good health and was still expected to attend a reception in the evening. She would also attend some of her official engagements planned later this week.

The overnight stay in King Edward VII Hospital in London last week was the first time in 10 years that Queen Elizabeth, who rarely cancels official engagements, had been hospitalised. The illness forced her to call off a visit to Rome.

Despite cutting back on a once hectic timetable of foreign visits, she is still renowned for her stamina in dealing with a busy schedule at home.

Officials were quoted in British media as saying her current health problems were not serious and there was nothing to worry about.

The queen's 91-year-old husband Prince Philip, who has required hospital treatment himself three times since Christmas 2011, was to attend the Commonwealth Day service in place of his wife of 65 years.