Queen's secret battle with illness in final months revealed in new book

Despite her official cause of death being noted as old age, the Queen's secret battle with cancer has been revealed by a close friend

Queen's secret battle
(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The Queen's secret battle with cancer has been revealed by a close friend of Prince Philip's, Gyles Brandreth, in his new upcoming book.


Although Her Majesty's cause of death was noted as 'old age' - the same cause of death on her husband the Duke of Edinburgh's death certificate- it has now been revealed that there may have been another illness afflicting the Queen.

A new book by a royal insider, Gyles Brandreth, has claimed that the Queen suffered from bone marrow cancer, which was a great source of pain for the Queen and was the reason she was often seen with a cane in later life.

According to Daily Mail (opens in new tab), the author wrote in his book, "I had heard that the Queen had a form of myeloma - bone marrow cancer - which would explain her tiredness and weight loss and those ‘mobility issues’ we were often told about during the last year or so of her life."

"The most common symptom of myeloma is bone pain, especially in the pelvis and lower back, and multiple myeloma is a disease that often affects the elderly," explained the royal insider.

Gyles added that at present there is no cure for this illness, and it is likely that all that could be done was help the Queen to extend her life for as long as possible.

 "Currently, there is no known cure, but treatment - including medicines to help regulate the immune system and drugs that help prevent the weakening of the bones - can reduce the severity of its symptoms and extend the patient’s survival by months or two to three years," wrote the author.

Queen's walking stick

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo / Contributor / Getty Images)

In the book, Gyles also explained how the Queen spent her final months before her death. After the death of her husband, the Queen was determined to remain in high spirits and fulfill her duties as monarch. Reportedly she said of self-pity, 'My husband would certainly not have approved.' 

This could explain why the Queen was determined to throw herself into the excitement of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations and made an effort to be at numerous events, even though she was evidently in pain.

The author also revealed that in order to 'keep her spirits up,' Her Majesty used to watch Line of Duty. This show completely gripped the nation and reportedly it helped the Queen cope with the Duke's death during lockdown when she couldn't even be properly comforted by her family. However, the author revealed that the Queen found the mumbling in the show frustrating and sometimes struggled to keep up with the plot.

Reportedly towards the end of her life, Her Majesty's health deteriorated extremely quickly. "The truth is that Her Majesty always knew that her remaining time was limited," said Gyles. However, the author writes that the Queen understood and accepted this fate. "She accepted this with all the good grace you'd expect," said Gyles.

Gyles' book, Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait is published by Michael Joseph on December 8, 2022. 

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


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