Covid-19 Live News Updates: Mask Mandates, Vaccines, and More
Covid-19 Live News Updates: Mask Mandates, Vaccines, and More

Covid-19 Live News Updates: Mask Mandates, Vaccines, and More

Credit…Pool picture by Joe Giddens

LONDON – Queen Elizabeth II has been infected with the coronavirus, Buckingham Palace said on Sunday, becoming one of the world’s most prominent figures in the fight against the virus and deeply rattled the country she has ruled for seven decades.

The palace issued few details about the condition of the queen, who turns 96 in April.

“Buckingham Palace confirms that the Queen has tested positive for Covid today,” the palace said in a statement. “Her Majesty is experiencing mild cold-like symptoms, but expects to continue light tasks in Windsor in the coming week. She will continue to receive medical attention and will follow all relevant guidelines.”

She met this month with her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, who was re-infected with coronavirus and went into isolation. He last contracted a mild case of the virus in March 2020, when the pandemic was only about to engulf Britain.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a severe outbreak of Covid around the same time and ended up in an intensive care unit. But even the alarming episode faded next to the news that the queen, who has ruled for longer than most Britons have been alive, has contracted a potentially deadly disease.

Buckingham Palace has been working to protect the Queen from being exposed to the virus. She retired to Windsor Castle in early 2020 with her husband, Prince Philip, and lived in virtual quarantine for more than a year.

Elizabeth received a dose of a coronavirus vaccine in January 2021 at Windsor Castle along with Philip. The Palace has not confirmed any subsequent vaccine doses. Charles has said he is fully vaccinated and boosted.

Philip died in April 2021 at the age of 99, and the queen was forced to isolate herself during his funeral. A photographer captured a gripping image of her, mourning alone and wearing a mask, in a choir stall at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor.

In recent weeks, the Queen has begun to reappear in public after a difficult stretch last autumn when she canceled several public engagements due to what Buckingham Palace officials described as exhaustion. Her fragility reinforced the fear that the Second Elizabethan Age was coming to an end.

The circumstances surrounding the Queen’s infection remained unclear in question. Charles was at Windsor Castle, where she lives, on February 8 for an investment ceremony. Charles, 73, received the news that he had tested positive on February 10 and postponed a trip to Winchester, England, at the last minute. His wife, Camilla, also tested positive.

In a speech to Sky News in June 2020, Charles said he “got away with it quite easily” the first time he got the virus. “I was lucky in my case,” he said, “but I’ve had it, and I can then understand what other people have been through.”

That queen marked the 70th anniversary of her takeover of the throne on February 5 at her country estate, Sandringham. In a statement issued that day, she said she hoped that when Charles succeeded her, Camilla would become known as the queen – a great support that the couple had long sought from the monarch.

“We are deeply aware of the honor that my mother’s desire represents,” Charles said in a statement. “Since together we have sought to serve and support Her Majesty and the people of our community, my beloved wife has been my own constant support throughout.”

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