Great Britain

Sick British queen cancels Wales visit

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 March, 2013, 9:33am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 March, 2013, 9:35am

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has cancelled a planned visit to Wales due to a bout of gastroenteritis, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said on Friday.

The 86-year-old monarch had been due to attend a military celebration in the city of Swansea on Saturday to mark St. David’s Day, the national day of Wales.

“The queenwill no longer go to Swansea tomorrow,” said a spokesman .

“She is experiencing symptoms of gastroenteritis. The queen is currently spending the weekend in Windsor as usual.”

The spokesman said that no decision had yet been made on the queen’s trip to Rome scheduled for next Wednesday and Thursday, when she is due to meet Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano alongside her husband Prince Philip.

“She is currently being assessed and she will be assessed in the coming days,” the spokesman added.

The queen had been due to present St. David’s Day leeks - a national emblem of Wales- to members of 3rd Battalion The Royal Welsh, of which she is colonel-in-chief.

Swansea Council said the ceremony would go ahead as planned with the Lord Lieutenant of West Glamorgan, Byron Lewis.

The British monarch has rarely missed a royal engagement due to ill health in recent years.

She was last forced to pull out of an investiture ceremony -- where she presents honours including knighthoods -- in October last year due to a bad back.

The monarch also missed a visit to the British Museum in October 2011 after suffering with a cold.

The queen had presented a group of stars from the London last year Olympics, including gold-medal winning heptathlete Jessica Ennis, with honours during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.