Queen Elizabeth has been sporting sunglasses and glasses with dark lenses at recent events, which royal watchers put down to the bright English summer. But it’s now been revealed that the monarch had cataract surgery in May.
Press Association broke the news that the 92-year-old had undergone an operation to remove a cataract, reportedly as a day patient at a private hospital in London.
True to her usual stiff-upper-lip style and strong work ethic, however, the Queen didn’t miss a single official engagement, powering through her duties without a pause. The only sign that she had had surgery was that she was photographed wearing glasses with tinted lenses on a number of outings.
The Sun noted that the monarch is known for her robust constitution, having in 2013 had her first hospital stay in a decade after contracting gastroenteritis. But cataracts – cloudy patches on the lens of the eye that impair vision and can’t be remedied with glasses – are known to be hereditary and to develop with age, and the Queen Mother also had surgery in 1995 to remove a cataract at the age of 95.
Cataract removal operations aren’t considered particularly serious and can sometimes be done under local anaesthetic. The surgery involves the removal of the afflicted lens, which is replaced by an artificial lens, and usually results in only a short recovery time, although there may be a longer period before the person is considered fit to drive.