On Sunday, news that Britain’s Queen Elizabeth had tested positive for COVID-19 sparked astonishment, concern, and well-wishes from around the country, with lawmakers and the general public hoping for a speedy recovery for the 95-year-old.
The news: A few sightseers gathered at the gates of Windsor Castle, where the queen is undergoing medical treatment for mild symptoms, on a rainy and blustery day. Others expressed their support on social media, as message boards on the London Underground begged the monarch to “take it easy”.
- Many people were disturbed by the announcement, which came after the world’s longest-reigning queen cancelled a number of high-profile engagements and spent a night in hospital in October, sparking concerns about her health.
What they’re saying: Julie and Rupert Wills, who were in Windsor, west of London, to see the queen, said they adored her “to bits,” with Rupert admiring her ability to “quietly get on with” things. Sanil Solanki, 43, referred to her as “the mother of the country.”
- The news had come as a shock to Gerard Smith, 19 years old. He stated, “Everyone loves her. She can’t do wrong to anyone. She’s been there my whole lifetime and the lifetime of almost everyone. It’s sad to hear. Hopefully she makes it through.”
- Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, led the official response, saying he was confident he was speaking for the entire country when he wished the queen a speedy recovery and return to vigorous good health.
- Opposition leader Keir Starmer said: “Get well soon Ma’am.” Many other politicians simply tweeted “God Save The Queen”.
- Best wishes came in from the US Embassy in London. Fabian Picardo, the chief minister of Gibraltar, referred to the queen as “a rock” in allusion to the environment of the British territory.
What happened: The public’s love for the queen comes as she discreetly celebrated her 70th year on the throne earlier this month, making her the first British monarch to do so.
- The queen was exhibiting modest symptoms, according to the Palace, and was scheduled to continue performing “light duties” throughout the next week.
- Following suit, the queen issued a statement immediately later congratulating the British women’s curling team on their Olympic victory in Beijing.
“I know that your local communities and people throughout the United Kingdom will join me in sending our good wishes to you, your coaches and the friends and family who have supported you in your great success,” she said.