(CBS) In Britain, a royal cold is upsetting the queen’s Christmas plans and raising concerns about her health.
Officials said Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, both have bad colds that are forcing them to stay in London for now. They called off their travel plans Wednesday with very little notice.
It’s been a damp and miserable start to the winter here and there’s a cold bug going around. And it seems even the gates of Buckingham Palace aren’t enough to keep it away, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips.
But royals don’t get common colds; they get heavy ones.
The Royal Standard -- the queen’s official flag which indicates where she is -- was still flying over Buckingham Palace Thursday morning. It shouldn’t have been.
The royals should be at their country estate in Sandringham, up in the northeast of England, where they go every Christmas. The family parade at Sandringham is as much a part of the holidays here as Christmas trees and carols, although the queen now drives herself to church.
But the queen’s trip was delayed this year for health reasons, and it’s causing worry.
“She famously carries on regardless, and this time apparently, she couldn’t carry on,” Phillips said.
“I think that’s really significant – the fact that the queen felt unwell enough to travel to Sandringham, when that’s all she would have want to have done yesterday, was stick to her plan,” said Roya Nikkah, a royal commentator.
The queen is 90 now. Prince Philip is 95 and has had a number of health issues over the past years. The famous royal stoicism has come up against the hard place of advancing years lately.
Philip was hospitalized for what was called a bladder infection after the couple stood in the rain for hours during a river pageant a few years ago.
He’s been rushed to hospital several times for a series of heart problems and investigative surgery.
The couple have announced they’ll be doing fewer public events. But they’re still determined to do what that can. And when they can’t, the world notices.
The queen and Prince Philip are famously robust for people their age. In fact, Philip bragged to a doctor last month, wondering why he hadn’t had the flu for 40 years. Maybe, the doctor replied, it’s because he doesn’t ride the subway like normal people.