Queen Elizabeth II’s coronavirus diagnosis has triggered a fresh round of mental health debates in the United Kingdom, with mental health experts and others calling for a deeper understanding of how the monarch’s illness affects her.
In an interview with The Guardian newspaper published Sunday, King Willem-Alexander said the queen’s mental health issues have not been widely reported by the media.
The queen is currently hospitalized in a psychiatric unit in the London hospitals and has not been seen by anyone outside of her close circle since Monday.
She is now receiving care by an outside expert, who is also the queen mother, who has been providing support to the royal family since she became ill.
She said she was in the midst of a “very difficult time” and that her illness had been a “great source of stress.”
“I think the press has been a little bit lazy,” the king said, adding that it was “trying to get ahead of the facts.”
“It is not clear what’s happening with the queen,” he added.
The king, who was the first monarch to be diagnosed with the coronaviruses, has been under a strict government quarantine since March 15, a move that has seen her hospitalised twice since then, with her daughter Princess Charlotte taking over from her in the final weeks of the illness.
The monarch’s health has also been a point of contention for years, with many of her supporters questioning her health and blaming her for the current crisis.
“It’s the elephant in a room that has been very, very difficult for her,” said Dr. Paul Tully, a clinical psychologist and mental health specialist, who also worked with the Queen at the time of her diagnosis.
“I can tell you from personal experience that she is not the only one with the mental health challenges that she has.”
“The Queen is also a very private person, and I think she does not want to be publicly identified,” he said.
The Queen, who will be in her first public appearance since being hospitalized, has said she is feeling better and her health is “stronger than ever.”
“In terms of her mental health, I am not quite sure what to make of it.
I have had a great deal of support and assistance from a lot of people,” she said in an interview last week with the BBC.”
In particular, I have been able to go to the NHS and get help from a number of people that I am very close to, including the Queen Mother.”
But Dr. Tully told The Guardian that the Queen’s illness has caused “very great concern.”
“There are very good questions about the mental wellbeing of the Queen, especially her own mental health.
I think the royal couple have a very difficult time communicating and making sure that everyone is on the same page.””
If you are someone who has mental health problems, you are not alone, it is not a black and white issue,” he continued.
“People with mental illness have often faced great adversity.”
“But the mental illness of the queen, as she has said many times, is very complex.”
“She has a lot to deal with, she is very sensitive to what people say, and she is quite careful not to be overly dramatic about it.
But she is in the very early stages of recovery and has had a very tough time.””
People are very anxious to know how the Queen is coping,” he concluded.
“I think that is the elephant that people are not getting the whole picture of.”
According to The Queen’s official website, the queen is expected to be discharged from hospital on Sunday.