A new memo written by Queen Elizabeth’s private secretary has been made public for the first time (Picture: Reuters)
Queen Elizabeth II ‘wouldn’t have been aware of anything’ during the final moments of her life, an historic new memo written by her private secretary has revealed.
The late monarch died peacefully in her sleep at Balmoral on September 8, 2022 at the age of 96.
And now a note about her death written by Sir Edward Young has described never seen before details about what happened that day.
He wrote: ‘Very peaceful. In her sleep. Slipped away. Old age. She wouldn’t have been aware of anything. No pain.’
The document, which is now in the Royal Archives, forms part of a new biography of the king – Charles III: New King, New Court. The Inside Story – by the Mail’s royal writer Robert Hardman, which is being serialised by the paper.
It also reveals how, shortly after Sir Edward wrote his note, a footman brought a locked red box of paperwork found at the late queen’s deathbed which contained two sealed letters – one to her son and heir and the other to Sir Edward himself, the Mail reports.
Other items in the box included her choice of candidates for the Order of Merit for ‘exceptionally meritorious service’ across the Commonwealth.
One of the last known pictures taken of Queen Elizabeth II on September 6, 20222 – two days before she died (Picture: Reuters)
‘Even on her deathbed, there had been work to do. And she had done it,’ Mr Hardman wrote, referencing her devotion to her duty.
The book describes how the late queen’s death was so sudden that Charles had to rush to Balmoral by helicopter and read his ‘London Bridge’ – the plans for events following the queen’s death – notes on the way.
It adds that the king and Queen Camilla spent an hour with the late queen privately before she died.
And Princes Anne and the late queen’s senior dresser, Angela Kelly, alternated at her bedside, along with Rev Kenneth MacKenzie, a minister at nearby Crathie Kirk.
Charles called both of his sons and told them to travel up to Scotland as soon as possible to say their goodbyes, the biography adds.
Charles and Camilla spent an hour with the queen privately before she died, a new book says (Picture: Chris Jackson/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth pictured with her son, now King Charles III (Picture: AP)
Charles, who had gone out to gather mushrooms and clear his head after seeing his mother, received the news that she had died as he was driving back to Balmoral when his most senior aide took a call.
He pulled over and was addressed for the first time as ‘Your Majesty’.
Then, when Charles called William via the palace switchboard to break the news, he told the operator ‘it’s me’ as he realised he could not reveal that he was king yet.
The king did try to contact his younger son to tell him personally, but Harry was already in the air and he could not get through.
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Never seen before details have emerged.