Skip to main contentSkip to footer

The Queen reveals she feels "exhausted" following COVID battle

Her Majesty battled the virus in February

the queen orange
Emily Nash
Emily NashRoyal EditorLondon
Share this:

The Queen has opened up about her experience of COVID-19, revealing it left her "very tired and exhausted."

MORE: Don't miss our special collectors' edition magazine celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of the Queen

But Her Majesty was all smiles as she virtually attended the official opening of a new hospital unit named in her honour from her desk at Windsor Castle last week.

She spoke to NHS workers and patients at the Royal London Hospital’s Queen Elizabeth Unit, which was built in just five weeks in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

WATCH: The Queen tests positive for COVID-19

Staff at the 155-bed critical care unit cared from more than 800 seriously ill patients, at times with support from combat medical teams from the Army.

SHOP: Best Jubilee shortbread & biscuit gifts to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee

MORE: The Queen pulls out of traditional Easter service near her home in Windsor

The monarch heard from Asef Hussain and his wife Shamina about how he is continuing to recover from the virus which sadly killed both his father and brother and until recently, left him wheelchair bound.

The Queen asked him: "Are you better now? I'm glad that you are getting better. It does leave one very tired and exhausted, doesn’t it, this awful pandemic."

She added: "In your time it was the bad version, wasn’t it?"

the queen hospital opening virtual

The Queen virtually opened the hospital

Turning to Shamina, Her Majesty asked: "And so you were not allowed to see him, but you could talk to him?"

She was told that Asef was able to speak to his loved ones by videocall and that on one occasion, his family arranged for a virtual prayer session joined by some 500 people across the world.

SEE: The Queen's impossibly grand bed is like nothing we've seen before

MORE: How the Queen and royal family are marking Prince Philip's first death anniversary

The monarch also asked medics speaking to her from inside the unit: "This particular bit where you’re standing, this was specially built, was it, for the pandemic?"

Told it was, she beamed as she said: "It’s amazing isn’t it, what can be done, when needs be. You’re the record builders, are you? You had to build it so quickly!"

the queen hospital opening

Her Majesty spoke about her health

Told that at the peak, some 650 workers were working seven days a week, 24 hours a day to complete the project, Her Majesty exclaimed: "Good gracious!"

Speaking to a group of medical staff, the monarch said: "It obviously was a very frightening experience to have Covid very badly, wasn't it?"

PHOTOS: 17 times the royals slipped up in public

READ: Why the Queen didn't attend Prince Charles and Camilla's wedding

Senior Sister Mireia Lopez Rey Ferrer told her: "Those patients in those beds, they were somebody’s loved ones, away from home away from their families, fighting a dreadful virus. As nurses we made sure that they were not alone. We held their hands, we wiped their tears and we provided comfort.”

And Junior Sister Charlie Mort added: "The amount of bravery both the patients and my colleagues showed throughout the entire pandemic was amazing, and the amount of kindness we were shown was awe inspiring. I think we'll all be bonded together, because of it, forever."

the queen virtual opening

The Queen has been carrying out virtual engagements

At the start of the call, the Queen, who is patron of the Royal London Hospital, laughed as Sir Kenneth Olisa, Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, told her: "Welcome, or should I say e-welcome to the Queen Elizabeth Critical Care Unit."

MORE: The Queen's unique way of paying tribute to Prince Philip as she marks one year since his death

SEE: The Queen's rare wartime photo displays impressive feature at Norfolk estate

He later unveiled a commemorative plaque on the monarch's behalf, reading the inscription for her.

She signed off by saying: "It's been very nice to be able to join you and also to hear what happened and how well it has been achieved. Thank you very much, all of you."

Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to our newsletter to get all of our celebrity and royal news delivered directly to your inbox.

More Royalty

See more