Smiling queen leaves hospital after treatment for stomach bug
BRITAIN'S Queen Elizabeth has left the London hospital where she'd been treated for the symptoms of a stomach infection, following a brief and rare hospitalisation for the 86-year-old head of state.
A smiling Elizabeth walked unassisted out of King Edward VII Hospital yesterday afternoon before saying goodbye to staff. She was then driven away in a motorcade.
"The queen has left the King Edward VII's Hospital having been admitted briefly as part of the assessment of symptoms of gastroenteritis," the palace said in a brief statement issued after her release.
Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach and/or the intestine, generally caused by food poisoning or the norovirus, a common winter vomiting bug that affects several hundred thousand Britons every year.
The queen has cancelled engagements for this week due to the illness. Norovirus infections are only very rarely dangerous, and doctors who weren't involved with Elizabeth's treatment believe she may have been hospitalised as a precaution.
It was the monarch's first hospitalisation in 10 years, but it set off few alarm bells in Britain, where she is seen as being in excellent health. Although not as physically active as she used to be – having reluctantly given up horse riding, one of her favourite hobbies – the queen still maintains a demanding schedule.
Unofficial figures indicate she carried out 400 official engagements in 2012.