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LONDON, ENGLAND — Queen Elizabeth II was released from a central London hospital on Monday after a nearly 24-hour stay to receive treatment for symptoms of gastroenteritis, the royal palace said. She appeared well and happy as she emerged from the facility.
The queen, who is 86, fell ill on Friday when she began to experience symptoms of gastroenteritis, a relatively minor and common illness which is better known as a stomach bug. The infection is caused by a virus or food poisoning and often causes vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration, but symptoms typically disappear between 12 and 48 hours.
The sudden illness initially forced the queen to cancel a scheduled visit to the coastal city of Swansea in Wales where she was due to celebrate St. David's Day on Saturday. She later canceled all official engagements for the coming week, including a trip to the Italian capital of Rome where she was to meet Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.
The queen emerged from King Edward VII's Hospital in central London just before 3 p.m. local time on Monday, nearly 24 hours after she was taken there by private car. Wearing a red dress, she looked well and cheerful as she said goodbye to a member of staff and walked to her waiting limousine.
"The Queen has left the King Edward VII's Hospital having been admitted briefly as part of the assessment of symptoms of gastroenteritis," Buckingham Palace said in a brief statement, giving no details about the queen's treatment or if she was still feeling ill. It was not immediately clear when she will resume her official engagements.
Despite her old age, the monarch is believed to be in generally good health and had not been hospitalized for more than a decade. The last time she was hospitalized was in January 2003 when she underwent a minor but successful 45-minute operation to remove a torn cartilage from her right knee.
Elizabeth II is the queen regnant of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Kitts and Nevis.