Queen taken to hospital

The Queen has been admitted to hospital in London after experiencing symptoms of gastroenteritis, Buckingham Palace said today. All official engagements for this week will be either postponed or cancelled as a precaution, the Palace added.

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'Big Tone and Little Tone' guarding the Queen

PC Wallyn (left) and PC Thich, known as Big Tone and Little Tone in the Met, ensured unwelcome visitors both large and small were kept away. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Britain's tallest policeman, 7 feet 2 inch PC Anthony Wallyn, was among the officers standing guard outside the Queen's London hospital tonight.

To the delight of the photographers gathered outside King Edward VII Hospital, he was partnered by the smallest officer in the Met's Westminster Borough Support Unit, PC Tony Thich, who measures 5 feet 6 inches.

PC Wallyn, who wears size 17 shoes, said he gets "100-500 requests for a photo" every day, and hopes he may be able to add one with the hospital's most notable current patient.

"It would be a nice photo," he joked of the chance to be snapped next to the 5 feet 4 inch tall monarch.

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Queen continues recovery in hospital

Queen is reportedly in 'good spirits' today Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

The Queen was reportedly in "good spirits" today as she continued her recovery in hospital after being admitted with symptoms of gastroenteritis.

The Queen was well enough yesterday to meet an employee privately to award her a medal for long service before travelling by private car to the hospital.

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Queen's engagements called off after illness

The Queen's illness has forced her to withdraw from a number of engagements in a typically busy schedule this week. They include:

  • A trip on Monday to visit HMS Lancaster in London.
  • A reception at Buckingham Palace for MPs and MEPs on Tuesday. The event is now most likely to be hosted by another member of the Royal family.
  • A two-day visit to Rome with the Duke of Edinburgh, which was scheduled to begin on Thursday.

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Norovirus is likely cause of Queen's illness

The Queen will probably be treated with a drip and isolated during her treatment for gastroenteritis, a medical expert has said.

Professor Christopher Hawkey, at the University of Nottingham's faculty of medicine and health sciences, said:

The likely cause with the Queen is the norovirus, the winter vomiting virus.

It's very infectious and strikes in winter because people are indoors and it spreads more easily.

Because it is infectious we try to not admit people to hospital as it can start the outbreaks we hear of.

But not everyone can keep up with oral hydration so it is pretty routine to go to hospital and have a drip and wait for the thing to pass and keep yourself hydrated.

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What is the Queen suffering from?

The Queen is being treated in hospital for gastroenteritis, an infection of the stomach and large intestine.

The two most common causes of the illness in adults in England are the norovirus and food poisoning, according to the NHS. Common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration.

It is not yet known if the Queen is suffering from viral or bacterial gastroenteritis but it is unlikely she is being given antibiotics as this prolongs the time it takes to settle the condition.

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