London, Mar 3: Queen Elizabeth II was today admitted to a hospital here "as a precaution" after experiencing symptoms of gastroenteritis, Buckingham Palace officials said. The 86-year-old monarch has been taken to King Edward VII Hospital in London, a palace spokesman said.
"The Queen is being assessed at the King Edward VII Hospital, London, after experiencing symptoms of gastroenteritis," the Palace said in a statement. "As a precaution, all official engagements for this week will regrettably be either postponed or cancelled," the statement said.
Buckingham Palace said the monarch, who had taken ill on Friday, had been driven to the King Edward VII hospital in central London by private car. She was driven to the hospital in the private car from Windsor Castle, where she had been resting.
The Queen, who celebrates her 87th birthday next month, is expected to remain in hospital for about two days while she is being assessed.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were due to visit Italy on Wednesday for a two-day visit at the invitation of Italy's president, Giorgio Napolitano. The couple were due to attend a private lunch and also visit the Pantheon, the ancient Roman monument where two Italian kings are buried.
The King Edward VII hospital, which is the preferred choice of hospital for the royal family, was at the centre of a media storm in December when the Duchess of Cambridge was admitted suffering from a severe form of morning sickness. An inquiry was launched after two Australian radio RJs made a hoax call pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles, asking for details of the duchess's medical condition. 46-year-old Indian-origin nurse Jacintha Saldanha who was at the receiving end of the hoax, was later found hanged at her accommodation. The full inquest into her death is expected to reopen later this month.