The BBC’s Nicholas Witchell has slammed “distasteful” speculation about Queen’s health

Controversial BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell has been criticized for “grossly intrusive” comments about the Queen’s health.

The BBC journalist – once dubbed a “horrible man” by Prince Charles – was criticized for his reporting on Thursday following a momentous announcement from Buckingham Palace that the Queen was ill and her family would be traveling to Balmoral to be with her .

The broadcaster has suspended all normal programming out of concern for the monarch’s health.

Witchell made comments speculating the Queen had cancer, noting the “gradual deterioration” in her health over the past year.

He added: “It comes back to that issue… it’s just that mobility issue or if there’s and was something else.

“And I think we can be honest, there have been rumors of cancer – no, of course, a confirmation and you wouldn’t expect it because members of the royal family insist and this is reflected by royal officials that these matters are private .

“No matter who you are, you are still entitled to private patient confidentiality.”

He made further comments about her weight loss following the death of her husband Prince Philip, citing a fall she suffered last year. He claimed the palace tried to keep this “secret”.

Anita Singh, Arts and Entertainment Editor of the Daily Telegraph, tweeted: “Nicholas Witchell is currently speculating that the Queen had cancer, that she fell last year, that she has gout, that she recently had a needle in her hand – feels bad pushy about discussing someone’s health like that.

“While he grumbles that Buckingham Palace has not fully briefed him on these matters.”

Owen Jones, a Republican and Socialist commentator, added: “Surely if there’s one thing that unites a deeply fractured nation in uncertain times, it’s that Nicholas Witchell is a massive idiot.”

Rupert Myers, a lawyer and expert, said: “Dear God [BBC News] Can you stop Nicholas Witchell (who studied law at Leeds, not medicine) from speculating on the specifics of the Queen’s illness? It is extremely tasteless.”

The BBC has been contacted for comment. The BBC’s Nicholas Witchell has slammed “distasteful” speculation about Queen’s health

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