Prince Philip has left hospital after spending four nights there and is heading back to Sandringham to spend Christmas with the Queen.
The Duke of Edinburgh was taken to the private King Edward VII’s hospital in central London on Friday for observation and treatment relating to a pre-existing condition while his wife stayed at the royal estate in Norfolk.
And while some have suggested that the monarch was insensitive for not visiting her 98-year-old husband in hospital, one royal expert has suggested some reasons why.
Royal commentator and columnist Victoria Arbiter said she wanted to offer an explanation after seeing some “pretty horrid comments” about the Queen staying at Sandringham.
Writing on Twitter, she said: “Generally royals don’t visit each other in hospital. There are always exceptions but sensible thinking is at the core, not a lack of sensitivity.”
Citing security concerns, other patients and privacy as reasons for the Queen staying away, she went on: “Were the Queen to visit him the security requirements alone would be incredibly disruptive. Conscious of other patients undergoing treatment they don’t want to cause undue stress for them or their families.
“Not only are they very private when it comes to medical issues they also want to avoid further speculation. Philip of all of the royals abhors any kind of fuss and he would want the Queen to continue as normal for the rest of the family – children, grandchildren.....great-grandchildren etc.
“Yes, they have visited on other occasions but it’s not the norm and it’s all about the regular members of the public that would be affected.
“That to me suggests an awareness and lack of selfishness as opposed to the ugliness that’s being touted.”
On Monday, Prince Charles said his father was “all right”, quelling concerns about his father’s health.
He told reporters: "He's all right – once you get to that age, things don't work as well. He's being looked after very well in hospital."
Summing up her defence of the Queen for her decision to stay at Sandringham, Victoria Arbiter said: “Every royal decision is made because it’s “sensible”. Nothing more nothing less.
“Philip is pretty set in his ways and the Queen above anyone will be keen to respect his wishes. I hope royal watching proves to be a little less contentious on 2020.
“They’re not horrible people but rather a family whose every move is analysed and criticised. Perhaps a little empathy would be nicer than throwing stones...especially at Christmastime.”
Her comments come ahead of the Queen’s Christmas Day message, in which she will acknowledge that 2019 may have “felt quite bumpy” but add that “small steps taken in faith and in hope” can be significant, and “overcome long-held differences and deep-seated divisions to bring harmony and understanding”.