The Queen feared she would live a 'lifetime of loneliness' following the death of 'devoted' royal family member

Queen Elizabeth II was forced to adapt during a particularly sad time

The Queen
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Queen Elizabeth II found it hard to adapt and 'feared a life of loneliness' following the tragic death of her younger sister, Princess Margaret, according to royal experts.

Earlier this month, the royals paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth on the anniversary of her death at Balmoral Castle on 8 September 2022. But royal experts have now revealed that prior to her death, the Queen was dealing with her own grief.

The late Queen apparently feared she would face years of "loneliness" after the "cataclysmic" death of her "devoted" sister Princess Margaret, who died after suffering a fourth stroke back in 2002.

Losing her younger sister was said to hit Queen Elizabeth hard as the pair shared a special bond and Princess Margaret had been a "constant companion" the Queen could rely on at all times.

Queen Elizabeth

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Queen of Our Times: The Life of Elizabeth II, £14.99 ($18.36) | Amazon

Queen of Our Times: The Life of Elizabeth II, £14.99 ($18.36) | Amazon

Queen Of Our Times is the definitive biography of Queen Elizabeth II by one of Britain’s leading royal authorities, Robert Hardman. This commemorative edition includes an epilogue reflecting upon Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, her passing, and her funeral.

With Princess Margaret thought to be the only one who truly understood the magnitude of the Queen's role, the monarch found it hard to adapt after the death and feared she'd forever be lonely.

Speaking on a Channel 5 documentary Elizabeth: Our Queen, biographer Hugo Vickers said, "She was the companion of her childhood and she was younger than the Queen. They did talk a lot, more or less every day, and she was a very, very constant presence in her life."

And narrator James D'Arcy added how Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret had a special bond, which was strengthened by the sudden death of their father, King George VI, in 1952. He said, "Princess Margaret had always been the Queen's glamorous and mischievous sister and they were devoted to each other."

"Growing up, the Queen's family had been a tight-knit unit, they called themselves 'us four.' After the death of their father, the two sisters became even closer."

The Queen

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Historian Dr Kate Williams said the fact that Margaret's death occurred shortly before the Queen's Golden Jubilee had been "cataclysmic" for Her Majesty given that Margaret had "made sacrifices" for her older sister. 

Dr Kate explained, "The loss of Margaret was really cataclysmic to the Queen. It was very, very painful. The Queen did see that Margaret's health had been put under strain by what had been denied to her emotionally. Margaret didn't choose to sacrifice all for the Crown because she loved the Crown above all. She chose it because she loved her sister above all. She wasn't sacrificing for the Crown, she was sacrificing for her sister." 

And speaking to Channel 5, historian Dr Owens added how the Queen became "lonely" being on the throne without a companion. "It's a very lonely place being sat atop a throne," he said. "And to have a companion, to have a confidante who you can confide in and to whom you can tell secrets too, and who shares in that life too was extremely important to both women."

He concluded, "When we look back at the princesses' lives together, we could say that Margaret did end up sacrificing quite a lot. In some cases, she had given up something that she had wanted to maintain the strength of her sister's reign."

Robyn is a celebrity and entertainment journalist and editor with over eight years experience in the industry. As well as contributing regular to woman&home, she also often writes for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Weekly and The Sun.