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Queen Elizabeth ‘Had No Regrets’ as She Faced Her Death

Photo Credit: Chris Jackson / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Despite her advanced age, the death of Queen Elizabeth II stunned the world when she passed away peacefully on September 8, 2022. Very little intimate information was passed on to the public about her death, however, a book released in November provides some specifics. In particular, it includes details from the Queen’s doctor about her final days at Balmoral Castle.

‘Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait’

Details of the Queen’s death and much more were shared by royal writer Gyles Brandreth in a new book, Elizabeth: An Intimate PortraitBrandreth was elected to the House of Commons as a Conservative MP for the City of Chester in 1992, serving until 1997. Afterward, he continued to work in journalism, his profession before he took up politics.

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in a purple jacket and matching hat with flowers.
Queen Elizabeth II visits a new maternity ward at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage, England as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour of the country, June 14, 2012. (Photo Credit: Chris Jackson/ WPA Pool/ Getty Images)

He is well known for his publications covering the royal family, including Philip and Elizabeth: Portrait of a Marriage, and Charles and Camilla: Portrait of a Love Affair. His most recent work on Queen Elizabeth includes the perspectives of many who knew her very well, including her personal doctors and family members. Brandreth himself is considered a friend of the royals.

Her final days

The Right Reverend Dr. Iain Greenshields looked after the Queen’s health in her final days, and his commentary was included extensively in Elizabeth. He spent the weekend with her before her death and said, “Her faith was everything to her. She told me she had no regrets.”

Another of her doctors, Douglas James Allan Glass, who was with the Queen when she passed, said that it “was expected and we were quite aware of what was going to happen.”

Two men wearing black jackets, ties, and white collared shirts reach through the gates at Buckingham Palace to post a death notice of the Queen.
Members of royal household staff post a notice on the gates of Buckingham Palace announcing the death of Queen Elizabeth II in Balmoral, September 8, 2022. (Photo Credit: Victoria Jones/ WPA Pool/ Getty Images)

According to Brandreth, “The truth is that Her Majesty always knew that her remaining time was limited. She accepted this with all the grace you’d expect.” He also suspects that she may have had a form of bone marrow cancer which could have caused the drastic decline in her health that was so visible in the final year of her life, although these claims are not substantiated.

Further revelations

The revelations in Elizabeth are not solely focused on the Queen’s health. Regarding the death of Prince Philip, Brandreth said that Elizabeth was determined to be by his side when he died but he, unfortunately, slipped away in his sleep so quickly that staff were unable to wake her in time to do so. What followed was an intense period of grief that she dealt with, in part, by watching the television show Line of Duty to keep her occupied.

Queen Elizabeth wearing a plaid skirt and grey cardigan stands in front of a lit fire in the middle of a sitting room.
Queen Elizabeth II waits to meet with Liz Truss, former British Prime Minister, at Balmoral Castle in Ballater, Scotland, September 6, 2022. (Photo Credit: JANE BARLOW/POOL/AFP/ Getty Images)

One moment that the Queen looked back on fondly, according to Brandreth, was her involvement in the Platinum Jubilee television sketch where she had tea with Paddington Bear at Buckingham Palace.

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The two shared a marmalade sandwich that she kept in her purse. Queen Elizabeth described it as “great fun” and was thrilled that it was kept a secret until it was finally broadcasted to the public.

Rosemary Giles

Rosemary Giles is a history content writer with Hive Media. She received both her bachelor of arts degree in history, and her master of arts degree in history from Western University. Her research focused on military, environmental, and Canadian history with a specific focus on the Second World War. As a student, she worked in a variety of research positions, including as an archivist. She also worked as a teaching assistant in the History Department.

Since completing her degrees, she has decided to take a step back from academia to focus her career on writing and sharing history in a more accessible way. With a passion for historical learning and historical education, her writing interests include social history, and war history, especially researching obscure facts about the Second World War. In her spare time, Rosemary enjoys spending time with her partner, her cats, and her horse, or sitting down to read a good book.