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‘Tired and exhausted’: Queen’s COVID admission as she pulls out of another event

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The Queen has revealed she was left “very tired and exhausted” after her recent bout of COVID-19, revealing details of her experience with the virus as she cancelled another public appearance.

Speaking during a virtual visit to the Royal London hospital, the monarch admitted her struggle with illness after contracting COVID in February.

It came days after Buckingham Palace announced the 95-year-old monarch would skip yet another favourite public event. She will be represented instead at Thursday’s Maundy church service at Westminster Abbey by heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The Queen has missed the service only four times previously during her 70-year reign – twice after the births of younger sons Andrew and Edward, and twice due to royal tours.

The Queen was last seen in public at a memorial service for the Duke of Edinburgh two weeks ago. Her attendance was confirmed only in the final hours before the service began, and she arrived on the arm of Prince Andrew.

Buckingham Palace announced the Queen’s COVID infection on February 20. She was said to be experiencing “mild cold-like symptoms”, and determined to carry out “light duties” from her home at Windsor Castle.

However, she cancelled multiple virtual engagements in the days afterwards. She was not publicly seen again until March 1, nine days after her diagnosis, when she conducted postponed video calls.

Her frank admission of her struggles with the virus came during a virtual engagement on Sunday for the official opening of Royal London Hospital’s Queen Elizabeth unit.

The Queen listened to stories from medical staff and former COVID-19 patients. She heard of nurses’ battles to cope with the huge influx of COVID-positive patients, while a recovering patient, Asef Hussain, told her of his own battle with the virus.

“I’m glad you are getting better,” the Queen told Mr Hussain and his wife, Shamina.

“It does leave one very tired and exhausted, doesn’t it? This horrible pandemic. It’s not a nice result.”

Mr Hussain said he was the third member of his family to be admitted to hospital with the virus. His brother and father died due to COVID, while Mr Hussain spent seven weeks at Royal London on a ventilator.

For weeks after his discharged, he used a wheelchair and a portable oxygen machine.

Ms Hussain also discussed the difficulties of families and friends, who cannot visit loved ones admitted to hospital due to the virus.

“Of course, not being able to see your relative was very hard,” the Queen said.