Queen Heartbroken After She Failed to Get to Prince Philip Before He Died

A forthcoming book about Queen Elizabeth II makes the claim that she and her husband, Prince Philip, would go “weeks” without seeing one another. This practice, according to author Gyles Brandreth, began when Philip retired in 2017.

This detail was one of many hinted at by the Daily Mail in their early look write-up for Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait. Though the couple apparently maintained contact via telephone, Brandreth says that the Queen recognized her husband’s desire “not to be fussed over” and to “see out his days in his own way.” 

The couple apparently found some “new comfort” in one another’s company during the coronavirus lockdown, and decided to spend more time with one another at Sandringham, Windsor, and in Scotland. The book also says that the Queen was determined to be at the Duke of Edinburgh’s side when he passed away, but it happened so quickly that aides were unable to wake her in time. 

Elizabeth and Philip were married for 73 years when he passed in 2021. He was 99 years old (two months shy of 100) and Elizabeth was 96 when she died earlier this year. She was the longest-reigning British monarch for over 70 years. (Louis XIV of France has her beat by two years, if you are keeping score.) 

Gyles Brandreth is a regular figure on British television, making appearances on travel shows and quiz programs. In the 1980s, he was a presenter on Good Morning Britain. In the 1990s, he was a Member of Parliament for the Conservative party and has written books about the Royal Family before, as well as a biography of Sir John Gielgud, mystery fiction, and books about grammar and Scrabble. He is the world record holder for giving the “longest after-dinner speech” at 12-and-a-half hours. 

Brandreth first met Queen Elizabeth in 1968, when he was 20 years old, and stayed in her orbit for 50 years at public and private events. Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait’s marketing page says that he “kept a record of all those encounters, and his conversations with the Queen over the years, his meetings with her family and friends, and his observations of her at close quarters are what make this very personal account of her extraordinary life uniquely fascinating.”

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