The Queen Just Silenced Any Fears People Have About Her Health

More and more, Queen Elizabeth finds her health being scrutinized. Since she's 96 and prominently in the public eye, the monarch continues to be a trailblazer as she instructs the rest of the world on what the aging process can look like.

Elizabeth remains popular and beloved, so it makes sense that people are concerned with her wellbeing. "Queen Elizabeth II is considered the greatest influencer of our generation," said Gaby Huddart, Good Housekeeping's editor-in-chief. The magazine recently conducted a poll in which the queen was voted "most influential woman" in a 100-year period, per Newsweek.

When the monarch's 70-year career was prominently in the spotlight for her Platinum Jubilee celebration, royal fans were concerned after Elizabeth stepped back from events due to mobility concerns. Recently, a prominent U.K. sporting event discussed contingency plans if the queen's death occurred during the tournament.

However, when it comes to her health, the queen's been making a strategic point to quiet the naysayers. In addition to her unexpected outing in Scotland during Holyrood week, Elizabeth surprised fans by returning to her favorite pastime of horseback riding. "Riding again is a wonderful sign after those worries about her health," a source told The Sun. Now the queen has stepped out in another public appearance, further reinforcing her jubilee message: "I remain committed to serving you to the best of my ability" (via The Washington Post).

Queen Elizabeth dazzled as awarded the George Cross

On July 12, Queen Elizabeth attended her first public investiture event since 2020, per Town & Country. Members of the U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS) attended a ceremony at Windsor Castle to receive the George Cross. King George VI, Elizabeth's father, created the prestigious award in 1940 to recognize the bravery of British citizens during WWII and honor "acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger" (via The Gazette).

Wearing a cheerful floral dress, the queen greeted the honorees, shaking hands and posing for photographs. While the monarch relied on her walking stick to get around, she did not use the mobility aid as she stood and talked to the award recipients, per BBC.

Some of the discussion revolved around the vaccination efforts of NHS staff during the COVID pandemic, which the queen called "amazing" and "tremendous," per The Telegraph. To temper these serious aspects, Elizabeth put her guests at ease by using her well-known sense of humor. Speaking to the NHS representative from Wales, she said, "This is your George Cross, now I know you won't put it in your handbag." The queen's jest came from earlier conversation with NHS Scotland's chief executive, who mentioned being instructed not to store the award in her purse. Later, when the recipients gathered for a photo op with Elizabeth and Prince Charles, the queen quipped, "Don't look too miserable," getting a laugh from the group.

The queen updated her work schedule to accommodate mobility challenges

As Queen Elizabeth has stated, "When it comes to how to mark seventy years as your Queen, there is no guidebook to follow" (via The Washington Post). The monarch is continually pivoting and adapting as different situations arise.

Health-wise, Elizabeth's primary concern appears to be what Buckingham Palace refers to as "episodic mobility problems," per NBC News. "The thing with older people is, it's not unusual to have periods of frailty," said Michal​ Boyd, a nurse practitioner focused on senior care. Speaking to New Zealand's Stuff, Boyd stated, "You lose muscle mass, and as you lose it, you become more weak and you can't mobilise." However, Boyd noted that the queen is better positioned than most when it comes to dealing with the challenges of aging. "She'll have really good healthcare and they'll try to reverse what they can."

To accommodate these periodic mobility concerns, the queen has updated her job description. Rather than having a list of specific events she is required to attend, such as the opening of parliament, the monarch's revised description is more general and "encompasses a range of parliamentary and diplomatic duties," per The Telegraph. Regarding Elizabeth's appearance at events, the updated version notes, "The Queen is greatly assisted by other members of the Royal family who undertake official duties on behalf of Her Majesty," opening the door for other senior royals to shoulder the workload where needed.