Queen Elizabeth has made another appearance, virtually attending the official opening of the Royal London Hospital’s unit named in her honour.
The 95 year old revealed that contracting COVID-19 earlier this year left her “very tired and exhausted”, as she discussed her symptoms with a former patient at the hospital whose brother and father died from the virus.
WATCH IN THE VIDEO ABOVE: Queen Elizabeth recalls experience with COVID-19
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The monarch listened to the stories of medical staff and patients as part of the opening ceremony.
During her conversation with Asef Hussain, a former COVID patient, the Queen said of her experience with the virus: “It does leave one very tired and exhausted, doesn’t it?
“This awful pandemic. It’s not a nice result.”
The Queen, who turns 96 on April 21, contracted COVID in February.
At the time, Buckingham Palace announced the monarch was experiencing “mild cold-like symptoms”.
She was not seen in public until The Duke of Edinburgh’s service of thanksgiving at the end of March.
In December 2020, Asef – the patient who spoke with the Queen – was the third member of his family to be admitted to the Royal London hospital after contracting COVID.
While Asef was on a ventilator, his brother died first, followed by his father.
During the conversation, the Queen acknowledged the difficulty patients had, not being able to see their families and friends while they were in the hospital.
“Of course, not being able to see your relatives was very hard,” she said.
She also spoke with hospital chaplain, Imam Faruq Siddiqi about the difficult time.
“Although I didn’t hold any miracles, I hope I was able to bring some sort of comfort to them through my presence and prayers,” Imam said.
“It obviously was a very frightening experience to have COVID very badly, wasn’t it?” Queen Elizabeth asked.
Imam responded: “I think what made it worse was being by themselves. Exactly. So they were alone, too.”
The Queen Elizabeth unit was built in just five weeks and boasts 155 beds over two floors.
The unit was critical as COVID cases surged in the UK throughout 2020 and 2021.
Meanwhile, the Queen is no longer planning to attend the annual Maundy Service, where the monarch usually distributes coins to pensioners in an ancient tradition ahead of Easter.
It will be the first one she has missed since 1970.
She will be represented by Prince Charles and his wife Camilla at the service on Thursday at Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel.
A palace source said the queen was unable to commit to attending and did not want her absence to overshadow the occasion, and for those attending to be aware in advance.
– with Reuters
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