Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has revealed that she was left “very tired and exhausted” following her recent bout of Covid-19.
The 95-year-old monarch, who tested positive for coronavirus in February, discussed her experience in a video call with staff at an east London hospital on Wednesday.
Speaking with former Covid patient Asef Hussain, the Queen said of the virus: “I’m glad that you’re getting better…It does leave one very tired and exhausted, doesn’t it? This horrible pandemic. It’s not a nice result.”
Hussain’s brother and father died from the illness, the PA Media news agency reported.
He was the third member of his family to be hospitalized with Covid-19, after falling ill in December 2020. Recounting his experience, he told the Queen: “I remember waking up one morning and just finding it really, really difficult to breathe.”
He added that he felt “like there’s no oxygen in the room” and even stuck his head out the window, “just trying to breathe, trying to get that extra oxygen.”
Hussain spent seven weeks on a ventilator in the hospital and is still recovering.
During her virtual visit, the Queen also heard how hospital staff responded to the huge influx of Covid patients.
Speaking to the construction team who built the 155-bed Queen Elizabeth Unit on the hospital’s 14th and 15th floors in five weeks, rather than the usual five months, she said: “It is very interesting, isn’t it, when there is some very vital thing, how everybody works together and pulls together? Marvellous, isn’t it?”
The Queen – who is celebrating her 70th year on the throne– has dealt with a number of health issues in recent months.
At a church service in October, she used a cane in public for the first time since 2003.
Later that month, she took a break from royal engagements after spending a night in a central London hospital, where doctors did “preliminary tests” and advised her to rest for a few days.
Buckingham Palace announced back in February that the 95-year-old sovereign was suffering “mild cold-like symptoms” as a result of Covid-19 infection but would continue light duties at Windsor. The palace previously confirmed both the monarch and her late husband, Prince Philip, received their first doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in January 2021.