Buckingham Palace faces criticism for not giving the ‘complete picture’ about Queen’s health

Queen Elizabeth II attends the opening ceremony of the sixth session of the Senedd at The Senedd
(Image credit: Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

Buckingham Palace is facing criticism after the official statement announcing the Queen’s overnight hospital stay was made a full day later.

Buckingham Palace has received criticism after confirming that the Queen spent a night in hospital after being forced to cancel work commitments in Northern Ireland on medical grounds. This came after her “risky” outing at Windsor Castle hosting a reception sparked fear amongst royal fans. In their statement addressing the Queen's health, the Palace confirmed the poignant news of her hospital stay and revealed she had subsequently returned to Berkshire. 

They announced, ‘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.

Queen Elizabeth II attends the opening ceremony of the sixth session of the Senedd at The Senedd on October 14, 2021 in Cardiff, Wales

And whilst many people were thankful to hear of the Queen’s “good spirits”, some royal commentators and correspondents have since shared their views about the choice to make this announcement on Thursday night, a day after the monarch’s hospital stay. 

Royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell claimed to BBC Breakfast at the time, “We were led to believe on Wednesday by Buckingham Palace that the Queen was resting at Windsor Castle and as we were being told that by Buckingham Palace and of course we were relaying that to our viewers and listeners and newspapers to their readers in point of fact she was in hospital”. 

He went on to suggest that he and fellow correspondents and commentators “weren’t given the complete picture” about the Queen’s health at this time. 

“One can understand the Palace’s perspective on this,” Nicholas continued, “They would say that the Queen is entitled to patient confidentiality, to medical privacy and that sort of thing, notwithstanding that she is the head of state and that millions of people in this country and around the world will be concerned”. 

“The problem it seems to me is that rumour and misinformation always thrives in the absence of proper, accurate and trustworthy information,” the royal correspondent also declared. 

And Nicholas wasn’t the only one to express his belief that Buckingham Palace could've been more forthcoming with information about the Queen’s health. Royal commentator and former BBC correspondent Peter Hunt shared his similar thoughts and reflected upon how it comes during what is already a difficult time for The Firm.

Taking to Twitter, he stated, ‘The media’s faith in the veracity of royal communications will have been sorely tested by the failed attempt to hide the fact the Queen spent a night in hospital. Buckingham Palace can ill afford a breakdown in trust, given all they’re dealing with.’

The choice to make the recent announcement a day after Her Majesty’s overnight stay has certainly been met with some criticism and sparked speculation about her health. However, giving the Queen some privacy was likely a major factor when it came to making the decision.  

The Queen was due to attend the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow next month, though whether all these engagements will go ahead as planned remains to be confirmed.  

Emma Shacklock
Senior Lifestyle Writer

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, Goodto.com, and My Imperfect Life.