Queen Elizabeth II Covid: How sick is The Queen, what are 'light duties' and what has the palace said about her health?

On February 20, 2022, a Buckingham Palace spokesman announced that Queen Elizabeth II has tested positive for Covid-19 - but how sick is she?

The 95-year-old, who tested positive for the virus on Sunday, cancelled virtual engagements on Tuesday, February 22, due to her ill health, although she did have her telephone audience with the Prime Minister on Wednesday, February 23.

Since contracting the virus, The Queen has postponed two more virtual audiences, according to Buckingham Palace.

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She was expected to host two virtual audiences on Thursday, February 24, but they were rescheduled.

Queen Elizabeth II during the QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot Racecourse on October 16, 2021. (Pic credit: Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images)

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “The two virtual audiences that had previously been scheduled to take place today will now be rescheduled for a later date.

“Her Majesty is continuing with light duties. No other engagements are scheduled for this week.”

How sick is The Queen?

Her Covid positive diagnosis has triggered many concerns for the nation’s longest reigning sovereign, due to her age, frailer appearance recently and recent health scare.

She is thought to have been triple vaccinated and has recently spent more than three months resting as per her doctor’s orders.

In the autumn, The Queen pulled out of attending the COP26 climate change summit, the Festival of Remembrance and the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph service due to a sprained back. She also missed the Church of England General Synod.

Queen Elizabeth II is now regularly using a walking stick and has been pictured looking frailer than usual recently.

She joked during a Windsor Castle audience last week: “Well as you can see, I can’t move.”

However, the palace has assured that she is experiencing “mild cold-like symptoms” and is expected to continue to carry out “light duties”.

What important engagements is The Queen due to attend?

The Queen has a calendar of high-profile events coming up; she is set to host the Diplomatic Reception on March 2, where she will meet hundreds of members of the Diplomatic Corps at Windsor.

This event has already been cut back from tiara and white tie to lounge suit and cocktail dress.

However, Buckingham Palace has yet to comment on whether The Queen will still attend.

She is also due to be at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on March 14, then the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service, also held at the Abbey, on March 29.

What are her ‘light duties’?

Queen Elizabeth II’s light duties as head of state include:

Working from her red boxes sent to her every day and containing policy papers

Foreign Office telegrams, letters and other State papers which have to be read and, where applicable, approved and signed.