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New book reveals Queen’s stoicism in her final months

New book reveals Queen’s stoicism in recent months

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A fascinating royal biography sheds new light on Queen Elizabeth’s remarkable stoicism in the last months of her life, how she didn’t hesitate to ‘fire’ her own son – and found solace after her husband’s death by watching Line of Duty. to look.

Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait, written by author and announcer Gyles Brandreth, is serialized in The Mail+, as well as tomorrow’s Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday and is full of fascinating vignettes about our longest-serving but still-so-mysterious sovereign.

Mr Brandreth, who holds a unique position as a friend and biographer of the royal family, reveals how the Queen told a lady-in-waiting that she was determined to keep busy as it helped her come to terms with the loss of Philip last April. , her husband of 73 years.

In the words of the then Duchess of Cornwall – now Queen Consort – who also spoke to the author, her mother-in-law was simply ‘unstoppable’.

The Queen receives Liz Truss in the drawing room of Balmoral Castle on September 6. This is Her Majesty’s last photograph

The Queen with the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor in April 2006

The Queen with the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor in April 2006

The Queen with the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor in April 2006

Still, former member of parliament Brandreth writes that the queen had pushed so hard in the fall last year that she suddenly experienced an ‘energy shortage’ and was urged by doctors to slow down.

“I must be wise,” she said reluctantly, a rare acknowledgment of the vulnerability of a woman for whom duty was above all else, despite the personal cost.

Among the wealth of fascinating new details, Mr. Brandreth also reveals:

  • When Prince Philip retired in 2017, he and the Queen went weeks without seeing each other, although they spoke regularly on the phone. in his own way’;
  • However, the pair found a new comfort in each other’s company during the lockdown and when it lifted they decided to spend more time together, traveling to Scotland and Sandringham, as well as Windsor;
  • The Queen was determined to be with her husband when he died and barely left his side in the last few weeks of his life, but Philip slipped away so quickly on April 9 last year that the staff couldn’t wake her in time to see him. to see ;
  • Despite her intense personal grief, she was a great comfort to her family and saw it as her “Christian duty” to carry on as best she could. ‘Life goes on. It has,’ she said;
  • Watching television, especially dramas like Line of Duty, helped her to “keep her spirits up.” But she sometimes struggled to keep up with the plot – and disliked the constant “murmuring” about it and other programs;
  • Her newfound determination to keep up the pace of royal duties after the loss of her husband was partly because she didn’t want to indulge in any kind of self-pity. ‘My husband certainly wouldn’t have approved’;
  • The Queen was loyal to her staff and they to her. But her closest assistant, Angela Kelly, the cheeky daughter of a Liverpool dockworker, was sometimes regarded as “troublesome” by her ladies-in-waiting, who resented her “easy familiarity” with the Queen;
  • The Queen’s first three children were born using a now-discredited form of childbirth known as ‘Dammerschlaf’, in which patients are drugged to put them in a state of amnesia known as ‘twilight’ during childbirth sleep’;
  • A lady-in-waiting reveals that the technique, which allows women to remain semi-conscious but with little pain or memory of the experience, gave her “post-natal side effects” to Andrew – and Edward was born naturally;
  • The late monarch was a loving mother, but willing to make tough decisions when necessary, no more than over her “favourite child” Andrew;
  • While she kept her “faith” in her second son, she didn’t hesitate to strip him of his role after his disastrous 2019 Jeffrey Epstein interview. To use military jargon, there were only a few days between flash and bang. It took action and she took it,” reveals a senior courtier;
  • However, the Queen also deliberately allowed herself to be photographed riding Andrew in Windsor Great Park the day after she relieved him of his royal duties to show her personal support. She also favored him appearing by her side at Philip’s memorial service;
  • The Queen was always discreet and never said more than absolutely necessary. When Andrew told his mother the whole sad story of his friendship with convicted pedophile Epstein, she listened attentively and answered with a single word. ‘Fascinating’;
  • Even well into her 90s, the late monarch was surprisingly dabbling with modern technology, using her own cell phone and texting her family. But she found “apps” puzzling and under no circumstances would she allow her grandchildren to take their devices;
  • She had a brilliant sense of humor and comedic timing, and came up with the idea of ​​having actor Daniel Craig wait while she signed a letter in her memorable James Bond skit from the 2012 Olympics. But she didn’t feel comfortable until when participating in such stunts after her mother’s death in 2002, feeling she would have found them “a little unworthy,” according to a senior aide;
  • In the last months of her life, the Queen’s health deteriorated rapidly. “The truth is that Her Majesty always knew that her remaining time was limited,” writes Mr Brandreth. Her response to her health problems was typically phlegmatic. ‘She accepted this with all the good graces one would expect,’ writes Mr Brandreth touchingly;
  • However, despite her growing fragility, she thought it naughty to take part in June’s Platinum Jubilee sketch, in which she was filmed drinking tea with Paddington Bear at Buckingham Palace and even pulling a marmalade sandwich from her iconic handbag. She privately described it as “great fun” and was especially pleased that “everybody kept it a secret” until it aired at the start of the anniversary concert. “That was lovely,” she said.
Serialized in the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday from today, Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait, written by author and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth, is full of fascinating vignettes about our longest-serving but still so enigmatic sovereign

Serialized in the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday from today, Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait, written by author and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth, is full of fascinating vignettes about our longest-serving but still so enigmatic sovereign

Mr Brandreth, who holds a unique position as a friend and biographer of the royal family, reveals how the Queen told a lady-in-waiting that she was determined to keep busy as it helped her come to terms with the loss of Philip last April.  , her husband of 73 years

Mr Brandreth, who holds a unique position as a friend and biographer of the royal family, reveals how the Queen told a lady-in-waiting that she was determined to keep busy as it helped her come to terms with the loss of Philip last April.  , her husband of 73 years

Serialized in the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday from today, Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait, written by author and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth, is full of fascinating vignettes about our longest-serving but still so enigmatic sovereign

Mr. Brandeth’s biography tells the story of Elizabeth’s remarkable life and reign from a unique perspective, as she was one of the few authors to have met and spoken to her, sharing meticulous – and often hilarious – contemporaneous accounts of their recorded conversations.

He was a confidant of the Duke of Edinburgh and knows the new King and Queen Consort well.

Mr Brandreth is not afraid to write boldly, revealing the Queen’s personal thoughts on Harry and Meghan’s decision to retire as working royals and move to the US, as well as her amazingly pragmatic response to last year’s security breach. Christmas at Windsor Castle, where a crossbow-wielding intruder climbed the wall and claimed he wanted to kill her.

But he does so with unpatrolled grace and sensitivity, capturing her infectious sense of humor while honoring Queen Elizabeth’s 70 years of public service and unwavering devotion to her people and country.

Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait will be published December 8 by Michael Joseph.

Click here to read the first excerpt of Gyles Brandreth’s intimate portrait of the Queen on The Mail+

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