Did Queen Elizabeth’s aides lie about just how bad her Covid infection was?

In recent weeks, we’ve seen Queen Elizabeth out and about several times, at Paddington Station, at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, and riding her fancy golf cart around the Chelsea Flower Show. It’s all a far cry from the gloom and doom we were hearing from “royal sources” and “the Queen’s aides” just one month ago. Those unnamed senior aides absolutely left the impression that the Queen’s health was failing to the point where no one should expect to see her in public ever again, and certainly not during the Platinum Jubbly. But the Queen’s public appearances have changed the narrative to “okay, she might actually show up to some stuff.” The Daily Beast’s sources are now talking about what was really going on behind-the-scenes.

Cautious optimism: Now, The Daily Beast can exclusively reveal that senior aides are “cautiously optimistic” that the queen will attend at least two of the four key events that will mark each of the four days of the Jubilee celebrations next weekend. It’s a remarkable turnaround, and likely to banish talk of the queen abdicating after the Jubilee. There is a hopeful mood at Buckingham Palace that the queen will pull off a spectacular comeback for her Platinum Jubilee, making a number of in-person appearances at key events. Her key targets for attendance are the Trooping of the Color on Thursday, June 2, and the Service of Thanksgiving for her reign at St Paul’s on Friday, June 3.

One month ago: As recently as a month ago the mood at the palace was one of gloom and despond, and the queen’s core team, led by her private secretary Sir Edward Young, were quietly managing expectations by suggesting that the queen might not make any events in-person at all. There were very real, if largely unspoken, fears among some insiders that the queen could actually die, and it was widely known that the queen continued to suffer severe ill-effects weeks after her bout with COVID, which she contracted in February this year.

Her Covid infection was a lot worse than we knew: [The Queen’s own admissions were] a big shift from the previous palace line, which was that she only had a very mild case of the disease and had continued “light duties” throughout. Further evidence that her experience of COVID was worse than originally was let on came, however, when, afterwards, the queen completely absented herself from any in-person public appearances, including Easter church services, and the State Opening of Parliament.

The Queen desperately wants to be on the balcony: A trusted aide told The Daily Beast that the most important event for the queen, and the one she is putting her maximum energy into trying to attend, is the Trooping of the Color, on Thursday, June 2.

Conserving her strength? Duncan Larcombe, former royal editor at the Sun, told The Daily Beast: “It increasingly appears that the reason queen pulled out of so many events earlier this year was because she was trying to conserve her strength. She seems to be determined to try and be present for as many of the key moments of the Jubilee as possible.” Asked what exactly the queen would be attending next week, a spokesperson for Her Majesty said: “Attendance at events will be confirmed nearer the time.”

[From The Daily Beast]

I absolutely think it’s possible that the Queen had a very bad case of Covid and her aides were flat-out lying to the public for several months about just how bad it was. But even that is an incomplete story, because the Queen didn’t catch Covid until February, when she likely got it from Prince Charles and/or her own staff, none of whom believe in masking. The Queen’s health had already significantly declined last October, though, remember? That was when she canceled her trip to Northern Ireland at the last minute, that was when her aides concealed her overnight hospitalization, that was the kick off of the Queen canceling appearances right and left. Again, the Queen is the head of state. The fact that the palace has actively lied and concealed the truth about her medical issues is a bureaucratic nightmare.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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36 Responses to “Did Queen Elizabeth’s aides lie about just how bad her Covid infection was?”

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  1. Eleonor says:

    BP aides lying about something.

  2. og bella says:

    They lied about William as well. They are just a bunch of lying liars who lie

  3. Alarmjaguar says:

    This makes me so angry. There has been such a lack of leader ship from so many during the Covid crisis. What a far cry from the Queen’s actions during the Blitz. I am not a greatest generation fan generally, but my God we are led by cowards now (Full disclosure, I am in the US and may be pretty pissed off at leader ship in my own country and have used this to vent a bit. But if I were British I would be angry about the lies and coverups and missed opportunity to help educate people and build a community response to the pandemic))

    • Cee says:

      You’re not wrong. Leadership worldwide has fallen short of what it is expected or needed. Ukraine’s President being a very clear outlier.

  4. Anony83 says:

    And these are the same people who were pissed when Meghan didn’t want to do a weird public baby show-off along with detailed information about the entire experience.

    • molly says:


    • windyriver says:

      Not exactly. The important point about the baby reveal is, Meghan and Harry were never asked by the RF to do it, as Meghan herself has stated. The media especially expected them to do what Kate, and Diana before her, had done. When the Sussexes (Meghan) didn’t, they were hugely criticized in the press. The palace, having set them up in the first place, said nothing, just sat back and watched. IMO, this was just as egregious as the lie about who made who cry, except that the baby reveal was one and done. The crying story keeps coming up. After four years, Kate and her sycophants in the press are still trying to somehow make Kate the victim while Meghan has again clearly said Kate was the one who made her cry, and that Kate even apologized for it. In writing.

  5. Becks1 says:

    I can believe that her COVID was absolutely worse than they said at the time, but Kaiser is right, she had already been declining for some time – remember when she pulled out of the Remembrance Day appearance? That, to me, said that something was really wrong. Maybe she did really hurt her back so couldn’t stand during that appearance (and I believe she would have refused to sit during the appearance, so then the decision was made for her not to attend, bc she couldn’t stand but wouldn’t sit), but IMO the palace is definitely going about this wrong. Just tell people what is going on with her, health-wise. No one is asking to see her medical records, but when the head of state goes to a hospital overnight, people should have a basic idea of why.

  6. ThatsNotOkay says:

    We saw for ourselves glimpses of how ill she looked. But she has bounced back and it has been quite a sight to see. In a way, I guess that is some strong resilience and willpower. She’s drunk with willpower. I’m rooting for her health. But once she passes, I’m rooting for the monarchy to crumble, implode, flame out, collapse, all of the above.

    • molly says:

      My grandpa was born the same week as the Queen, so they’re very linked in my head. His willpower and bounce back ability is shockingly the same.

      He went into the hospital in January with a (non-COVID) raspatory infection and pneumonia. When 95 year olds go into the hospital for *anything* they often don’t come out, much less days-long, viral, multi-organ-impacting, infections. Grandkids came from out of town to visit, estate affairs were being buttoned up, a million concerned texts were flying.

      Nope! He stayed for about a week, got well enough to go home, graduated from oxygen and physical therapy early, and he’s been his pre-sick self ever since. Drunk with willpower is the perfect way to describe him too. Old birds like that are truly remarkable.

  7. Sofia says:

    I’m not surprised to hear that she’s gotten better in time for her jubilee. It’s a big party thrown in her name and celebration and no-one else in the monarchy’s history has achieved it. So I can see her “pushing” herself to get better. My grandmother got sick just before her youngest daughter was due to get married but she got better enough to go because she didn’t want to miss the wedding. She lived another 10 years after that because the human body has its limits. She’s still 96 at the end of the day with mobility problems. And once the jubilee ends, she’s not going to have any other milestone to look forward to other than just existing everyday and becoming the oldest lived monarch in the UK history.

  8. Amy Bee says:

    As Head of State there should be no secrecy about her health. It’s interesting that the press were demanding to know everything about Meghan’s pregnancy and the birth of Archie but are unwilling to put the Queen under the same scrutiny. I also don’t like that the Palace is “saving” her for the Jubilee. What happens to her after the Jubilee? I understand Harry’s concerns for his grandmother’s well-being.

  9. Harper says:

    Since we know the Palace lies, lies, lies, I’m not convinced they didn’t play up her health woes to gain sympathy for the Queen and redirect attention from the millions paid to Virginia Giuffre. The latest bout of covid that went around was very mild and we know the Queen was vaccinated and had the best of care. We also know that her heirs had no issue being out of the country on various trips and vacations during all the weeks the Queen was supposedly going to die. There was no vigil because there was no need for one.

    Cut to two weeks before the Jubbly, Queenie reappears looking remarkably vibrant and no one is side-eyeing her anymore for the Andrew payout. I think the British people were had, once again.

    • Tourmaline says:

      No. The omicron wave was not very mild. Hundreds died every day of it in the UK— look it up. Including vaccinated people as it was an immune evasive strain (being a variant very different than the original/vaccine strain), particularly the elderly and with underlying health conditions.

    • Christine says:

      Agreed, Harper. The queen has so many balls in the air, to protect Pedo after she dies.

  10. Brassy Rebel says:

    I think at least part of Harry’s concern about the people around his grandmother was because she contracted Covid. With the right precautions, that was completely unnecessary and shows a willful disregard and even disdain for simple measures to keep a 96 year old safe from a disease which is especially deadly in older people. But, sure, Harry is way out of line for worrying. And they’re still sending her out unmasked to events where no one is masked! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • Ariel says:

      Her staff loses all power and position when she dies/abdicates. Charles has his own people for staff- so they are all about protecting their power and their jobs, with zero concern about the actual human that is the queen- and even less concern for the country and the “empire”.

      • Tigerlily says:

        @Ariel but doesn’t Charles have his own people in place working for the Queen? I thought that was why he worked to oust Sir Christopher Geidt?

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      I have this unsettling feeling that they feel lucky the Queen made it to the Jubilee, so they’re going to deploy her as much as possible with no regard for her health or safety. As long as they get through the Jubbly events, I don’t think the courtiers care if she gets sick again or dies. They can just plan a big state funeral & coronation for a new monarch.

  11. Amy Bee says:

    It’s now being reported that the Queen has gone to Balmoral to rest up for the Jubilee.

  12. Heather says:

    I’m sure all the lying is self preservation for these people. They want to keep the gig going so let’s paint a better picture than the truth. My question: is there not some accountability required to inform parliament or the PM of the situation? All I have to go on is the Crown episode where Churchill was very ill from another stroke and he and his staff kept it from QEII and she gave him a ticking off about it when she found out. I would think there would procedures in place to keep everyone in power informed? Maybe not. And how would they really know if she’s so shielded behind the walls.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I think a similar act of secrecy happened when President Wilson had a stroke during his presidency. Queen Betty’s situation reminds me of a recurring SNL Update (decades ago), ‘Generalissimo Franco is still dead’.

    • windyriver says:

      Look who the PM is. Do we expect BoJo to tell the truth either?

      TQ said in one of her zoom calls that Covid basically knocked her for a loop. At a minimum it sounded like her overall energy level and endurance was significantly affected post Covid, which makes sense. I still believe, however, if she were that desperately ill, there would’ve been some sense of that from Harry when he talked about her in his interview in April. I just didn’t get that from him. And we see in recent weeks she’s been out and about looking pretty chipper, and happy. So whatever’s being done to help her conserve her energy is working. Also think Harry lit a fire under her about getting out and doing things she particularly enjoys without being embarrassed about needing help because of her mobility issues (hence the car at the horse show, and golf cart at the flower show).

      It does make sense that she’d want to rest up before the Jubbly festivities. I don’t know if it’s strange that she’s gone to Balmoral; BBC news online is saying she usually goes to Scotland this time of year, that she hasn’t been since last summer, “before the ‘mobility problems’ that forced her to pull out of so many appearances.” It is characterized as a private visit though – wouldn’t it be interesting if she was there because she was expecting some special guests, perhaps from the US?

  13. Ace says:

    Of course BP lied! Anyr power those people have depends on Betty still being alive, so they will do anything up to a weekend at Bernie’s situation to hang on. They know that once Chuck is in charge, all of them are gone.

  14. Lizzie says:

    “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here!”

  15. murphy says:

    Did she have covid in October too?

    • Kkat says:

      That’s what I’m thinking, she got Delta in Sept/October
      And then got Omi Jan/feb

  16. Christine says:

    AKA: We realized a month ago after all the tours of utter failure that it would be problematic for Betty to stand next to or be photographed with any living members of her family, but Harry and Meghan are coming now, so FINGERS CROSSED!, hopefully she will rebound!