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EDITIONS
 Monday, 13 January, 2003, 15:04 GMT
Queen enjoys robust health
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh
The Queen rarely lets illness interfere with duty
The Queen has enjoyed good health during her 76 years.

She battles on amid the occasional illness and even the odd corgi bite.

So, a minor operation for a torn cartilage in her knee will probably do little to weaken the monarch's determination to perform her royal duties.

She has not let any medical setback stand in the way of her enjoyment of the outdoor life and horse riding.

Experienced horsewoman

Last month, there was concern the Queen would be unable to attend the traditional royal Christmas church service at Sandringham after straining her knee.

Princess Anne and the Queen
The Queen was hurt while horseriding
But she confidently stepped out of her Rolls Royce, unaided by a walking stick, as some had predicted she would use.

In January 1994, the Queen wore a plaster cast after breaking her left wrist when her horse tripped during a ride on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

This was the first time the Queen, a keen and experienced horsewoman, had fallen for many years.

But she got back on the horse and returned to Sandringham House unaware she had sustained anything more than a bruise.

The break was not diagnosed until almost 24 hours later.

She does not like to wear protective hard hats when out riding, generally preferring a head scarf.

Lucky escapes

In March 1993, the Queen was forced to cancel several engagements because she was unwell with the flu.

In the same month the Queen had three stitches in her left hand after being bitten by one of her corgis.

However, she refused to let it interfere with her workload and continued with a visit to a handbag factory.

In 1981 she was the target of a shooting incident in The Mall, as millions of tourists and television viewers watched her ride to the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

A 17-year-old unemployed youth, said to have vowed to become "the most famous teenager in the world", fired blanks at her and was immediately arrested in the crowd.

A month earlier, the IRA claimed responsibility for a bomb blast at the Sullom Voe oil terminal on Shetland while the Queen was officially opening it.

She was uninjured.

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23 Dec 02 | UK
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