Queen ‘had signal to alert aides if she needed to leave event’ hours before hospital

Queen to be 'joined' by other royals for future events

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Queen Elizabeth II, 95, is understood to have had a secret signal to notify her aides if she was feeling unwell at an engagement – less than 24 hours before she was hospitalised last week. On Tuesday, Her Majesty hosted a reception at Windsor Castle following a Government investment summit.

During the event, the Queen remained on her feet for almost an hour to meet and greet guests including US climate envoy John Kerry and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

A royal source told the Daily Mail, the Queen had agreed upon a discreet signal with her royal helpers if she became too tired or ill to continue.

While the nature of the code itself remains unknown, it is being reported that the secret sign was not needed at the event, as the sovereign was said to be on “sparkling form”.

However, the day after a statement was released by Buckingham Palace detailing that Her Majesty’s two-day trip to Northern Ireland to mark the 100th anniversary of the partition had been cancelled.

The cancellation was said to be on doctors’ orders.

A statement released at the time reads: “The Queen has reluctantly accepted medical advice to rest for the next few days.

“Her Majesty is in good spirits and is disappointed that she will no longer be able to visit Northern Ireland, where she had been due to undertake a series of engagements today and tomorrow.

“The Queen sends her warmest good wishes to the people of Northern Ireland, and looks forward to visiting in the future.”

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The Palace then later informed that Her Majesty had spent a night in King Edward VII’s Hospital in central London for “preliminary investigations”.

She was reported to have returned to Windsor on Thursday.

In a statement, the Palace said: “Following medical advice to rest for a few days, the Queen attended hospital on Wednesday afternoon for some preliminary investigations, returning to Windsor Castle at lunchtime today, and remains in good spirits.”

The occasion marked the first overnight hospital stay for the monarch – who celebrates her 70th year on the throne next year – in eight years.

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In 2013, she spent a night at the private clinic for treatment for gastroenteritis, a type of stomach bug.

Following her most recent hospital visit, the Queen did not attend a church service on Sunday, October 24.

Her Majesty rarely fails to attend church but is believed to be saving her energy to resume royal duties.

The monarch is expected to join other members of the Royal Family at the COP26 eco-summit in Glasgow, next Monday.

In the weeks since returning from her holiday at her Scottish Balmoral estate, the Queen has had a busy schedule compromising of engagements and appearances.

Including her return from the royal estate in Aberdeenshire, where she spent the summer, the Queen has travelled nearly 1,000 miles this month alone.

According to reports, officials are understood to be drawing up a “core” list of key events for the Queen to prioritise over the next 12 months.

According to the Telegraph, the Palace has decided that the Queen will always be accompanied by one of her children or grandchildren on all future engagements, in case the sovereign needs to pull out for health reasons.

In the meantime, it is understood that Her Majesty continues to make her way through the correspondence from her red boxes which are delivered daily.

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