Britain’s Queen Mum breaks collarbone

Associated Press

LONDON – The Queen Mother broke her left collarbone in a fall at her home, her office said today.

The 100-year-old mother of Queen Elizabeth II was treated by doctors at her home, Clarence House, and was not hospitalized, her office said.

“Her Majesty is reasonably comfortable and has canceled her engagements for the time being,” said a Clarence House spokeswoman, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Queen Mother, widow of King George VI, was out of bed and sitting up with her arm in a sling, the spokeswoman added.

Family members were due to visit her later today.

The Queen Mother was on her own when she fell Friday afternoon, the spokeswoman said.

“Had there been someone with her they probably could have stopped her fall,” she said. “There is always someone close by but Her Majesty has a life of her own and is not kept under constant watch.”

Prince Charles, the Queen Mother’s eldest grandchild, visited her at lunchtime today.

Among other things, the Queen Mother had been scheduled to pay her traditional visit Thursday to a memorial to Britain’s war dead in the churchyard of St. Margaret’s in Westminster.

Well-wishers left messages of support at the gates of Clarence House.

“I have followed the life of the Queen Mother for the past 50 years and I was upset to hear that she had had a fall,” said Margaret Dobson, a 71-year-old Londoner. “I can only wish her a speedy recovery. I hope she’s better soon.”

The Queen Mother, who has had two hip replacement operations, has had trouble walking in recent years and has resorted to using two walking sticks. She has also suffered from persistent ulcers on her left leg.

There was concern in November 1982 when she underwent an operation at London’s King Edward VII Hospital to have a fish bone removed from her throat.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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