Queen Elizabeth tests positive for COVID-19

British monarch tests positive for the coronavirus and is experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, Buckingham Palace says.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II
The queen has received three jabs of the coronavirus vaccine [File: Joe Giddens/AFP]

Britain’s 95-year-old Queen Elizabeth II has tested positive for COVID and has “mild” symptoms.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Sunday the 95-year-old British monarch will continue to perform light duties.

“Buckingham Palace confirm that the queen has today tested positive for COVID,” the statement said.

“Her Majesty is experiencing mild cold-like symptoms but expects to continue light duties at Windsor over the coming week. She will continue to receive medical attention and will follow all the appropriate guidelines.”

The queen has received three jabs of coronavirus vaccine.

Both her eldest son Prince Charles, 73, and daughter-in-law Camilla, 74, Duchess of Cornwall, also recently contracted COVID-19.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wished Queen Elizabeth a quick recovery.

“I’m sure I speak for everyone in wishing Her Majesty The Queen a swift recovery from COVID and a rapid return to vibrant good health,” Johnson said on Twitter.

Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, the queen reached the milestone of 70 years on the throne on February 6.

‘Close eye will be kept’

A fixture in the life of the nation, Elizabeth has been in robust health for most of her reign and has been photographed riding a horse as recently as 2020. In the past year she has been seen using a walking stick, and in October she spent a night in a London hospital for unspecified tests.

The queen’s doctors ordered her to rest after that and she was forced to cancel appearances at several key events, including Remembrance Sunday services and the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland in November.

This month she returned to public duties and has held audiences both virtually and in person with diplomats, politicians and senior military officers. During one exchange caught on camera last week, she walked slowly with a stick and said “as you can see I can’t move” in apparent reference to her leg.

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said members of the royal family would be concerned by the COVID-19 diagnosis, given the queen’s age. She turns 96 on April 21.

“In the coming days a very close eye will be kept on her and the indications are that, all being well, it’s nothing more than a minor inconvenience,” he said.

Source: News Agencies