Time to ‘prepare for the worst’ says BBC Royal Correspondent as Royal Family rush to Queen’s side
The Royal Family have gathered around the Queen at Balmoral after doctors became concerned for her health today.
The Royal correspondent for the BBC, whose official role is to announce the Queen’s death, said it was “time to prepare for the worst”.
BBC One afternoon schedule has moved to BBC Two, and Huw Edwards is presenting in a black tie.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have travelled to Balmoral, as has the Duke of Cambridge, Clarence House and Kensington Palace said.
Princess Anne, who was already there, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, are also at her side.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were due to attend the WellChild Awards ceremony in London on Thursday evening, but have changed their plans to travel to see the Queen.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be travelling to Scotland”, a spokesperson for the couple said.
The Duchess of Cambridge has remained in Windsor as Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are on their first full day at their new school, Kensington Palace said.
A Palace spokesperson said: “Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision. The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”
There was speculation about the Queen’s health after the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition were seen being briefed in the House of Commons.
The head of state pulled out of a virtual Privy Council on Wednesday after doctors ordered her to rest.
The First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Concerned to hear the news from Buckingham Palace. I send my best wishes to Her Majesty and her family on behalf of the people of Wales.”
He added that news about the Queen’s deteriorating health will have prompted “an afternoon of sober reflection and anxiety for households across Wales”.
At a press conference held in Cardiff in response to the Prime Minister’s energy plan announcement, Mr Drakeford said: “I should begin by just reflecting on the news published through Buckingham Palace earlier today – an afternoon of sober reflection and anxiety for households across Wales.
“Of course, we will be wishing all sympathy and understanding with members of the royal family who are gathering at Balmoral.”
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said: “Throughout her life, Her Majesty the Queen has served us all with commitment, diligence and dedication. Sending her my very best wishes. I know she will be in all our thoughts and prayers.”
Prime Minister Liz Truss said “the whole country will be deeply concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace this lunchtime” adding “my thoughts – and the thoughts of people across our United Kingdom – are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time”.
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle told MPs: “I know I speak on behalf of the entire House when I say that we send our best wishes to Her Majesty the Queen and that she and the royal family are in our thoughts and prayers at this moment.”
UK Labour leader Keir Starmer said: “Along with the rest of the country, I am deeply worried by the news from Buckingham Palace this afternoon. My thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time, and I join everyone across the United Kingdom in hoping for her recovery.”
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “All of us are feeling profoundly concerned at reports of Her Majesty’s health.
“My thoughts and wishes are with the Queen and all of the royal family at this time.”
Holyrood’s Presiding Officer has said the thoughts of all in the Scottish Parliament are with the Queen after Buckingham Palace said she was under medical supervision at Balmoral.
Speaking after First Minister’s Questions, Alison Johnstone made a brief statement to MSPs.
“I am aware that a statement has been made at Westminster on the health of Her Majesty the Queen,” she said.
“I will, of course, monitor developments and keep members updated over the course of the day.
“But my, I’m sure the thoughts of all in Parliament are with Her Majesty at this time.”
SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford said he was “saddened” to hear the announcement made about the Queen’s health.
Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle interrupted Mr Blackford’s speech in the energy debate to say the House sends its best wishes to the Queen.
Resuming his speech, Mr Blackford told the Commons: “I’m sure on behalf of all colleagues that we’re saddened to hear the announcement that has been made, and the thoughts and prayers of all of us will be with Her Majesty the Queen and indeed with the royal family.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury has said the “prayers of the nation” are with the Queen.
“My prayers, and the prayers of people across the (Church of England) and the nation, are with Her Majesty The Queen today,” Justin Welby tweeted.
“May God’s presence strengthen and comfort Her Majesty, her family, and those who are caring for her at Balmoral.”
Former Conservative prime minister David Cameron said he was “deeply concerned” by the news about the Queen’s health.
“Deeply concerned by the news this afternoon from Buckingham Palace,” he tweeted.
“I send my heartfelt thoughts and prayers to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family at this worrying time.”
Former Labour prime minister Sir Tony Blair said he is “deeply concerned” by the news about the Queen’s health.
“It is deeply concerning to hear today’s news from Buckingham Palace,” Sir Tony said in a statement posted to Twitter.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Her Majesty the Queen and her family at this worrying time.”
Health minister Lord Kamall said the thoughts of all those in the House of Lords are with the Queen and royal family after the news about concerns over her health.
He said in the upper chamber: “I’m sure that all noble lords will be concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace about concerns over the health of Her Majesty.
“I’m sure that the thoughts of all noble lords are with Her Majesty and her family at this time.”
Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said “it is a matter of the gravest concern to all of us when our sovereign is unwell”.
Mr Rees-Mogg was speaking for the first time in the House of Commons since his appointment to the role, and as he began his closing speech in the debate on energy costs.
He said: “Can I begin by adding my voice to those of honourable and right honourable members about Her Majesty the Queen and wish her well from this House.
“It is a matter of the gravest concern to all of us when our sovereign is unwell. “
The royal family’s website appeared to crash following the news of the Queen’s health concerns.
An error message appeared on screen reading: “Gateway time-out”.
More to follow…
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