Queen's illness: Concern behind the castle walls
March 3, 2013 -- Updated 2028 GMT (0428 HKT)
- Buckingham Palace are putting a brave face on queen's illness
- But behind the castle walls there is cause for concern
- Advisers are acutely aware there will come a point when she has to slow down
- Duke and Duchess of Cornwall have been creating a more regal air lately
Editor's note: Mark Saunders is a longtime reporter on the royal family, beginning his career at his hometown newspaper, The Windsor Express, where he became royal correspondent and covered more than 200 official royal engagements. He is the author of several books on the royals.
London (CNN) -- In public Buckingham Palace are putting on a brave face, insisting the queen's illness is little more than a stomach bug and her hospitalization merely a "precautionary measure."
But behind the castle walls there is cause for concern.
The main worry is dehydration, quite common for anyone suffering from gastroenteritis; usually it is treated by replacing lost bodily fluids with water.
Five things to know about gastroenteritis
Mark Saunders discusses Queen's illness
Queen Elizabeth II, now 86, has held her throne since the age of 25. Pictured, Elizabeth arrives at a garden reception at Government House in Auckland, New Zealand, in February 2002.
Photos: Queen Elizabeth II
But the queen is finding it difficult to keep any fluids down.
For this reason she was taken to the Edward 7th hospital in London, the first time she has been in hospital for 10 years, where she is currently hooked up to an IV drip.
Buckingham Palace have canceled all the queen's official engagements for the next week, including a high profile visit to Rome.
Senior advisers have spoken of their concerns to the Prince of Wales and it is believed the queen, who is 87 next month, will be asked to take things easier over the coming months.
Though the queen is always described as being in "robust" health, her advisers are acutely aware there will come a point when she has to slow down.
For this reason the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall have been taking on far more high profile engagements recently as they prepare for the day they will formally replace the queen.
A source inside Windsor Castle said: "Charles and Camilla have subtlety created a more regal air over the past year and are beginning to look, and act, like a King and Queen in waiting. Behind them the ever-popular William and Catherine have now progressed to being senior members of the royal family.
"If the queen is convinced to cut back on the amount of engagements she carried out she will do so with the knowledge the family 'firm' is well taken care of behind her."
The queen who hates to make a fuss
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Saunders.
Part of complete coverage on
March 7, 2014 -- Updated 1527 GMT (2327 HKT)
The U.S. huffing over Ukraine jars with many after recent U.S.-led interventions, writes Simon Tisdall.
March 8, 2014 -- Updated 0354 GMT (1154 HKT)
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is unapologetic about his government's response to opposition protesters.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1653 GMT (0053 HKT)
He's 12 years old and going blind -- so his parents are taking him on a trip to fill his world with beautiful images.
Track star Oscar Pistorius is accused of killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Follow live updates of South Africa's trial of the century.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1357 GMT (2157 HKT)
To celebrate International Women's Day, CNN's Leading Women is inviting you to a Tweetchat.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 2247 GMT (0647 HKT)
Women journalists in the testosterone-fueled world of sports are still the target of abuse.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1027 GMT (1827 HKT)
Photographer Zack Seckler's series presents Botswana from between 50 and 500 feet, providing a unique view of the savannah.
March 5, 2014 -- Updated 0218 GMT (1018 HKT)
Concorde is a thing of the past, but a number of companies are racing to release the first supersonic business jet.
March 7, 2014 -- Updated 2059 GMT (0459 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
March 7, 2014 -- Updated 1852 GMT (0252 HKT)
From U.S. President Obama's phone call to Russian President Putin, to a python swallowing a crocodile, browse photos from last week.
March 7, 2014 -- Updated 0543 GMT (1343 HKT)
Did you know that the idea to mark road surfaces reportedly came from watching a milk truck drip milk on the road?
The undersea cables wiring the Earth: this is what the Internet actually looks like.
Today's five most popular stories