Queen Elizabeth Battled Secret Illness Before Her Death, Family Friend Claims

According to a new biography, Queen Elizabeth II "was battling cancer" in her last months. The claims were made by Gyles Brandreth, a friend of Prince Philip, in his forthcoming biography Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait, reported Hindustan Times. Brandreth claimed that Queen Elizabeth's death was actually due to a rare form of bone marrow cancer rather than "old age," as was officially reported. "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," Brandreth said. "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. 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," the book explained.

Brandreth described how the late monarch's health had declined since the autumn of last year and how her condition rapidly deteriorated in the last few months of her life when she was dying. "The truth is that Her Majesty always knew that her remaining time was ­limited. She accepted this with all the good grace you'd expect," he said. With some reluctance, the monarch agreed to the doctors' advice to slow down, saying, "I've got to be sensible." In addition, the book claims that after her husband, Prince Philip's, death in April last year, the Queen suffered periods of low energy, despite declaring to her aides that she was determined to remain busy. 

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During his final weeks, Queen Elizabeth barely left the side of her beloved husband of 73 years, according to the author. According to the book, the Queen told a lady-in-waiting Philip would disapprove if she descended into self-pity following his death. To "keep her spirits up," Queen Elizabeth II watched television shows such as the gripping British crime drama Line of Duty. However, she sometimes found it difficult to keep up with the plots of many of the shows and disliked the mumbled dialogue in some of them. The book also corroborates accounts from others that the monarch remained supportive of the Duke after he was disgraced over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.