The Queen, 95, knights her chief royal physician Sir Huw Thomas at Windsor Castle – and thanks him personally for looking after her and late husband Prince Philip for 15 years
- The Queen personally knighted Professor Sir Huw Thomas at Windsor Castle
- Prof Sir Huw is the Head of the Medical Household and Physician to the Queen
- He also cared for the late Duke of Edinburgh up until his death at 99 in April
- It comes after the Queen pulled out of a number of major engagements recently
The Queen has personally knighted her top royal physician in an investiture at Windsor Castle.
The 95-year-old monarch conferred the accolade on Professor Sir Huw Thomas, who is Head of the Medical Household and Physician to the Queen, in a private ceremony on Tuesday.
Princess Anne carried out the investiture for others, but it is likely the Queen wanted to personally thank Prof Sir Huw, who has looked after her and the royal family for the past 15 years.
The physician, who was awarded the Insignia of a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, also cared for the late Duke of Edinburgh up until his death at 99 in April.
It comes with concern for the health of the Queen heightened after she pulled out of a number of major engagements in recent weeks, spent a night in hospital and was ordered to rest by royal doctors.
It is likely to have been Prof Sir Huw who advised the head of state to take things easy after she underwent preliminary tests in King Edward VII’s Hospital on October 20.
Professor Sir Huw Thomas, who is Head of the Medical Household and Physician to the Queen, has been invested with the Insignia of a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Princess Anne carried out the investiture for others, but it is likely the Queen wanted to personally thank Prof Sir Huw, who has looked after her and the royal family for the past 15 years
The Queen has been carrying out light duties since then, but also sprained her back, leading to her missing the Remembrance Sunday service.
After cancelling her Remembrance Sunday appearance, the 95-year-old warned that ‘none of us can slow the passage of time’ via a speech delivered by the Earl of Wessex after the monarch failed to address the Church of England’s national assembly for the first time in her 69-year reign.
The monarch also did not make an in-person appearance at Cop26 in Glasgow but instead sent a video message, and later missed the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall on November 13.
However, there was better news last Sunday as she managed to attend the double christening of her two great-grandsons with Princess Eugenie, Zara Tindall and their families in Windsor.
There had been fears the Queen would miss the event but it is understood she made an ’11th-hour decision’ and took advice from her personal doctor, with a source saying she was ‘keen to be there’ as she ‘knows how important it is’ for her children and great-grandchildren.
It is likely Prof Sir Huw would’ve been the doctor she consulted before attending.
Prof Sir Huw, who has been Head of the Medical Household for seven years, was made a Knight Commander at the start of 2021 in the New Year’s Honours list.
The Queen has now invested him with the Insignia of a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.
The Royal Victorian Order award is in the Queen’s personal gift and is awarded for service to the royal family.
Details appeared in the Court Circular – the daily record of official royal engagements.
After being made a Knight Commander in the New Year, the physician, who is also Professor of Gastrointestinal Genetics at Imperial College London’s Department of Surgery and Cancer, told Imperial of his work within the royal household: ‘It’s been a busy couple of years in this role, so I feel very grateful to have been recognised for my service to date.’
The Queen is pictured arriving at the Royal christening of her two great grandsons at All Saints chapel in Windsor Sunday after missing several engagements over health fears
Prof Sir Huw also looked after Prince Philip before the duke died at the age of 99 in April, a few weeks after he was admitted to hospital for an infection and had heart surgery for a pre-existing condition
He added: ‘You very much become part of that organisation and become the personal doctor to the principal people in it, who are patients just like other patients.
‘With the pandemic, the key priority of the Medical Household is trying to make sure that the people under its care are kept safe.’
Both the Queen and Philip received their Covid vaccinations, and the pair were cared for at Windsor in HMS Bubble – the nickname for their reduced household of loyal staff – during lockdown for their protection.
The duke died at the age of 99 a few weeks after he was admitted to hospital for an infection and had heart surgery for a pre-existing condition.
Prof Sir Huw was accompanied by his wife Lady Thomas during the audience.
He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge and The London Hospital and trained in gastroenterology and general medicine at The London, The Royal Free, St Mary’s and St Mark’s Hospitals in London.
He also undertook a PhD in the molecular genetics of colorectal cancer at The Imperial Cancer Research Fund.
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