Professor John Cunningham left King Edward VII’s Hospital in Marylebone shortly after 10am and hopped on his scooter after seeing the monarch, 86.

He had advised her to admit herself yesterday, after she failed to recover from a bout of gastroenteritis that struck last Friday, forcing her to cancel all engagements this week.

One onlooker said Professor Cunningham “was a very happy chap” as he left. Asked how the Queen was feeling, the doctor replied: “You know I can’t tell you that.” But he smiled when it was put to him that his departure was a good sign.

The Queen is expected to spend two days in the hospital. Today a Buckingham Palace spokesman said she was “otherwise in good health” but there was no health” but there was no official statement updating her condition.

She had spent the weekend as usual at Windsor Castle after cancelling a St David’s Day engagement in Swansea, but was driven to hospital in London by car after Prof Cunningham, the Queen’s physician, advised that a better assessment of her health could be carried out there.

Yesterday the palace announced that “as a precaution” all engagements this week, including a two-day trip to Rome with the Duke of Edinburgh to meet Italian president Giorgio Napolitano, had been cancelled.

Tomorrow she will miss a Buckingham Palace reception for MPs and MEPs and a visit to HMS Lancaster, dubbed “the Queen’s frigate”, in West India Quay.

The Queen is unlikely to be back on duty until next Monday at the earliest, when she and Prince Philip are due at Westminster Abbey for a Commonwealth observance service.

Prince Philip, 91, was today pressing ahead with a visit to the Royal Thames Yacht Club, of which he is patron.

The Queen is expected to spend two days in the hospital, where she was last admitted in December 2003 for a knee operation and the removal of a growth on her face.

The King Edward VII was also used by Prince Philip last year when he recovered from a bladder infection and was where the Duchess of Cambridge was treated for three days in December for acute morning sickness.

The Queen was well enough yesterday to meet Windsor Castle housemaid Janet Doel privately to award her a medal for long service before being driven to the hospital.

It is believed the Queen will not be receiving visitors. A royal source said: “She is very much known for not making a fuss.”

Gastroenteritis is highly contagious and can be fatal for “vulnerable” groups such as the elderly. Most of the 190 deaths a year in England and Wales involve people over the age of 65.

The illness is normally contracted through food poisoning or the norovirus winter bug. Common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration. Treatment involves ensuring patients are kept hydrated – using an intravenous drip in serious cases.

Queen Elizabeth II ill but ‘in good spirits’ as she spends second day in King … – Evening Standard
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