COVID-19 Left the Queen Feeling "Very Tired and Exhausted," She Said

The queen spoke to hospital staff in honor of the opening of the Queen Elizabeth Unit.

Queen Elizabeth in tiara
(Image credit: Getty)

The public hasn't seen much of Queen Elizabeth since she contracted COVID-19 at the end of February. Speaking to Royal London Hospital staff via video call last week to mark the official opening of the Queen Elizabeth Unit—which was built in response to the pandemic in just five weeks—the queen spoke publicly about her bout with COVID-19.

Included on the call was a fellow recovered COVID patient, Asef Hussain, who had, in Queen Elizabeth's words, "the bad version" of the illness. Which is putting it mildly: Hussain was in a coma for seven weeks, during which time his brother and father died, according to The Mirror. Still, the queen could commiserate a little. 

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"I'm glad that you're getting better," Queen Elizabeth told Hussain on the call. "It does leave one very tired and exhausted doesn't it, this horrible pandemic?" 

Another thing that Hussain and the Queen had in common: A huge number of supporters and well-wishers during their illness. Hussain's wife told Queen Elizabeth that at one point when Hussain was very ill, they had 500 people from all over the world on a Zoom call praying for his recovery. 

While the queen's COVID diagnosis forced her to cancel engagements, reports indicate that she didn't become anything like as sick as Hussain. Associated Press reported that she had "mild, cold-like" symptoms in February. And, as we can see, she's rallied with the best of them.

Kathleen Walsh

Kathleen Walsh is a freelance writer and editor whose work focuses on culture, dating, and feminism and especially where all three intersect. Her writing can be found in the New York Times, InStyle, Teen Vogue, and more.