England: Long Live the Queen Mum!

09/11/2001 at 12:42 PM EDT

Britain's beloved Queen Mother, still going strong at the age of 101, has been "amused" by premature rumors of her demise, one of her aides told the Times of London newspaper on Monday. The mother of Queen Elizabeth (and the grandmother of Charles and the great-grandmother of Princes William and Harry) appeared in public Sunday to attend a church service near the Scottish royal estate of Balmoral, reports Reuters. It was a strategic appearance, the news service suggested, because her smiling face allayed widespread fears about her health which have mounted since she went to the hospital for tests a week ago. Good-natured as the Queen Mum has been in the face of such stories, her aide told the Times that the monarch was "nevertheless determined to show her public that they were 100% untrue." Buckingham Palace has been flooded with concerned calls from members of the public since the media reported last week that Charles had canceled a planned summer vacation in order to be near his grandmother. There were also reports that she had undergone medical tests at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary on Sept. 1 and had been given a blood transfusion at a London hospital last month, only days before her birthday, after being diagnosed with anemia and mild heat exhaustion.

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