Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth is “under medical supervision” on Thursday, September 8.
“Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision,” the statement reads. “The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”
The news instantly sent alarm through the world, as many noted that the statement had a level of seriousness about the monarch’s health not yet seen from Buckingham Palace. Indeed, it seems as though the concern is fitting: The royal family quickly began heading to the Balmoral Estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Not long after the initial statement, a BBC royal correspondent reported that the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Edward and Sophie, were on their way to Balmoral. The plane which included The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William on board has now landed at Aberdeen Airport, according to BBC.
Princess Anne, Prince Charles, and Princess Camilla were already in Scotland on previous engagements, and are now at Balmoral. Prince Harry and Meghan pulled out of a charity event in London (where they had been chief guests), and are currently on their way to Scotland. Duchess Kate chose to remain in Windsor to be with her children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, who all started their first full day of school today in Berkshire.
Another significant sign: Buckingham Palace called off the Changing of the Guard, which was due to take place tomorrow morning. Initially, a sign was placed in front of the Palace that read, “No Guard Changing Ceremony Today,” but officials later took it down.
The world reacts to the bad news.
World leaders, celebrities, and fans of Queen Elizabeth have all expressed concern and well wishes for the 70-year-reigning monarch. Former prime minister, Tony Blair, issued a statement on Twitter: “It is deeply concerning to hear today’s news from Buckingham Palace. My thoughts and prayers are with Her Majesty the Queen and her family at this worrying time.”
Tourists and supporters have gathered outside of Buckingham Palace and Balmoral, watching and waiting for news. Many of them are in tears. Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim leaders, including Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, the UK’s Chief Rabbi, and The Muslim Council of Britain have all offered prayers and blessings.
This article was updated at 11:12 am EST.