Nearly Half of Brits Think Royal Family Too Secretive About Queen's Health

Almost half of Brits believe the royals should be more open about Queen Elizabeth II's recent health scare after she cancelled more than three weeks of visits.

Polling for Newsweek suggests 48 percent of U.K. citizens think the palace were too secretive compared to 52 percent who do not.

The data, based on a survey of 1,500 people by Redfield & Wilton, shows the Monarchy's approach is still backed by the majority but by a narrow margin with the country divided about its PR strategy.

Elizabeth, 95, pulled out of a planned trip to Northern Ireland in October and spent a night in hospital with an undisclosed health problem.

The monarch also missed COP26, where she would have met President Joe Biden, and was told by doctors to rest for two weeks.

The palace had said she would be back for Remembrance Sunday (Britain's version of Veteran's Day) on November 14 but she pulled out hours before the service with a sprained back.

A royal insider told Newsweek the problem was separate to the original reason she told to take it easy.

Newsweek's research shows 84 percent of Britons have heard at least something about the queen's health problems and of those 35 percent thought it sounded serious compared to 33 percent who did not.

And 52 percent backed the palace's response to the public's concern while 28 percent said it was too secretive.

It came as 68 percent said they had a positive view of Elizabeth compared to 10 percent who had a negative view.

Queen Elizabeth II on Remembrance Sunday
Queen Elizabeth II attends the National Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph on November 8, 2020 in London, England. She pulled out of this year's service with a sprained back. Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images

A Buckingham Palace statement on Sunday, November 14 read: "The Queen, having sprained her back, has decided this morning with great regret that she will not be able to attend today's Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph. Her Majesty is disappointed that she will miss the service.

"As in previous years, a wreath will be laid on Her Majesty's behalf by The Prince of Wales."

The palace faced criticism after reporters were told in October that the queen was resting at Windsor on the day she checked into hospital for treatment.

BBC Royal Correspondent Nicholas Witchell at the time told BBC Breakfast: "The problem, it seems to me, is that rumour and misinformation always thrive in the absence of proper, accurate and trustworthy information."

He added: "We are told that she's back at Windsor Castle, undertaking light duties. Well, we must hope that we can place reliance on what the palace is telling us."

The queen returned to her light duties yesterday, meeting the outgoing head of the U.K. armed forces at Windsor Castle, where she has been living.

In an address for the Church of England on Tuesday she appeared to reflect on her decades in public life and mentioned her recently departed husband Prince Philip.

The 95-year-old Monarch said: "It is hard to believe that it is over 50 years since Prince Philip and I attended the very first meeting of the General Synod.

"None of us can slow the passage of time; and while we often focus on all that has changed in the intervening years, much remains unchanged, including the Gospel of Christ and his teachings."