Queen leaves hospital staff laughing with witty comment about COVID-19 ward

The Queen met with staff of the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel on Wednesday for the official opening of the Queen Elizabeth Unit

Queen leaves hospital staff laughing with witty comment
(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen showed off her quick-witted humor during a most recent with hospital staff and patients, much to the excitement of her legion of royal fans. 

The Queen has shown off her quick-witted humor during her latest public engagement, much to the delight of her adoring royal fanbase. 

Her Majesty virtually met with staff and patients of the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel on Wednesday, in celebration of its official opening of the Queen Elizabeth unit. The 155-bed facility, which occupies the 14th and 15th floors of the building, was built in response to a surge of COVID-19 cases in the north-east London area. It has treated approximately 800 patients since it began operating in January 2021. 

Speaking from Windsor Castle, the 95-year-old appeared in good spirits as she inquired about the construction of the NHS unit. 

After discovering the project's deadline had been drastically pushed forward from five months to just five weeks, she beamed brightly and said, "It's amazing what can be done when needs be." 

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According to hospital staff, 650 people worked on the unit 'seven days a week, 24 hours a day' to ensure it was built as quickly as possible. The construction team commended the 'Dunkirk spirit' of those who contributed to the large-scale development, prompting Her Majesty to reply, "Thank goodness it still exists." 

The Head of State also made a rare comment on her private life during the engagement, sharing details about her bout with the virus for the first time in public. Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen had COVID-19 shortly after she passed her Platinum Jubilee in February, leading to widespread concern from her royal fans. 

She has since recovered from the infection but confirmed that the experience was negative, telling a former COVID-19 patient, Asef Hussain, that she was left "very tired and exhausted" by the virus. She also called the pandemic 'horrible', adding, "It's not a nice result." 

Hussain, who lost his brother and father to COVID-19, is now 'getting there' with his recovery. After contracting the virus in December, he lost the ability to breathe properly and was placed on a ventilator at the hospital for seven weeks. 

"I'm much better," he revealed. "I've recently left the wheelchair so I'm walking about now." 

In classic Queen form, the monarch offered a touch of light-hearted humor to brighten up the solemn mood. 

"You're the record builders, are you?" she asked the heads of the unit's construction team, prompting a modest chuckle from her audience. "You had to build it so quickly." 

Her well-timed remark was well received by royal fans, many of whom expressed their admiration for the great-grandmother's strong interpersonal skills. 

"The Queen is absolutely beautiful. Her face lights up every time she smiles. When she smiles it makes me want to smile," one person wrote on the Royal Family Youtube channel. 

"The Queen's magic seems to be that she always focuses on the other person, never on herself. How taxing that must be to do consistently for so many years," another impressed fan commented. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.