Queen Elizabeth’s family rushes to the side of the ailing king

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  • Doctors say the Queen, 96, is under medical supervision
  • Heir to the throne Prince Charles with the Queen
  • Family members go to Balmoral Castle

BALMORAL, Scotland (Reuters) – Britain’s royal family rushed to stay with Queen Elizabeth after doctors said they were concerned about the 96-year-old’s health on Thursday and said she should remain under medical supervision.

The Queen, Britain’s longest-reigning and the world’s oldest monarch, has been suffering from what Buckingham Palace described as “episodic mobility issues” since the end of last year.

“Following further assessment this morning, the Queen’s doctors are concerned about Her Majesty’s health and have recommended that she remain under medical supervision,” the palace said in a statement.

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“The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”

Her eldest son and heir Prince Charles and his wife Camilla have traveled to her Scottish home at Balmoral Castle, where she is staying with his eldest son, Prince William, officials said. Her other children – Anne, Andrew and Edward – were also in the castle.

A spokesman for Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, who are in Britain for a number of events, said they would also travel to Scotland.

Such a family gathering, outside of holiday events such as Christmas, Easter or major public events, is extremely rare.

The BBC has cut short its usual schedule to switch to ongoing coverage of the Queen.

“My prayers, and the prayers of people across @chofengland and the nation, are with Her Majesty today,” Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, said on Twitter. Read more

Last October, Elizabeth spent a night in the hospital and has since had to cut back on her public engagements. On Wednesday, she canceled a virtual meeting with top ministers after her doctors advised her to rest.

The day before, she was photographed appointing Liz Truss as the country’s new prime minister at Balmoral, the record-breaking 15th prime minister under her reign.

A palace source played down speculation that the king had fallen.

Record breaking era

Elizabeth has been Queen of Britain and more than a dozen other countries since 1952, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and earlier this year she marked her 70th birthday on the throne with four days of national celebrations in June.

“I have been inspired by the kindness, joy, and kinship that have been so evident in recent days, and I hope this renewed feeling of bondage feels for many years to come,” she said at the time.

Elizabeth acceded to the throne after the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952, when she was twenty-five years old.

She was crowned in June of the following year. The first televised coronation was a prelude to a new world in which the lives of members of the royal family were under increasing scrutiny by the media.

She became queen at a time when Britain retained most of its empire. It was emerging from the ravages of World War II, with food rationing still in place and class and privilege still prevalent in society.

Winston Churchill was the first prime minister to serve under her, Joseph Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union, and the Korean War was raging.

“My thoughts – and those of people across the UK – are with Her Majesty and her family at this time,” the Prime Minister said.

Lindsey Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, interrupted an energy debate in Parliament to say he had sent his best wishes to the King.

“Along with the rest of the country, I am deeply concerned by the news coming out of Buckingham Palace this afternoon,” opposition Labor leader Keir Starmer said.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Twitter: “We are all deeply concerned by the reports regarding Her Majesty’s health. My thoughts and best wishes are with the Queen and all members of the Royal Family at this time.”

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Michael Holden reports. Editing by Kate Holton and Janet Lawrence

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