Queen died while suffering from cancer, author says
Queen Elizabeth was suffering through cancer in the last months of her life, according to well-connected author Gyles Brandreth. Brandreth, in his new book Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait—as reported by the Daily Mail—writes: “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.
“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 queen’s death certificate recorded that she had died of old age.)
In the days preceding her death on September 8, 2022, Brandreth writes that the queen had Sunday lunch with the Right Reverend Dr Iain Greenshields, the vicar of the local Braemar and Crathie Parish Church. “They talk about the queen’s childhood, her horses, church affairs (she is ‘well up to speed’) and her sadness at what is happening in Ukraine.” She also spoke to Clive Cox, one of her favorite racehorse trainers, as well as meeting at Balmoral an outgoing Prime Minister (Boris Johnson) and anointing a new one (Liz Truss, whose tenure ended up being the shortest of any prime minister).
On that day, a last poignant picture of the queen was taken.
Brandreth also says he does not believe that the queen was, as reported, at Prince Philip’s bedside when he died in April 2021.
“That morning, he went to the bathroom, helped by a nurse. When he came back, he said he felt a little faint and wanted help getting back into bed. The nurse called the Duke’s valet and the queen’s page, Paul Whybrew, for help—and he died before the queen could be called,” Brandreth writes. He adds that the couple would go “weeks” without seeing each other later in their lives, the queen recognizing that Philip did not want to be “fussed over.” The pandemic bought them back into close living quarters again, and they both enjoyed it, Brandreth said.
In a second extract, reported the Mail, Brandreth said the queen had liked Meghan Markle, and did “everything to make her feel welcome” into the family. The queen was “devoted” to Harry, but thought he was “perhaps a little too in-love” with Meghan. Brandreth said the queen told Meghan: “You can carry on being an actress if you like—that’s your profession, after all.” On the bombshells told by the couple to Oprah Winfrey, the queen was more concerned with Harry’s well-being rather than “this television nonsense,” as she allegedly called it.
Even more fabulously, when Prince Andrew whined about the Oprah interview, the queen reminded him of the time his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson gave an interview to Oprah.
While other family members found it “bewildering” that Harry and Meghan named their daughter Lilibet, as a tribute to the queen’s nickname, the queen said it was “pretty and seems just right.” Brandreth also says that courtiers refer to Harry and Meghan as “persons who live overseas.”
The battle of the royals lands on the east coast
It may not be the rumble in the jungle, but America is about to host another juicy fight. The Telegraph reports that Prince William and Kate Middleton “won’t be distracted,” and are feeling bullish about their three-day trip to North America this week beginning Wednesday, ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s appearance at a ritzy New York awards ceremony to receive an award after they leave.
“The Palace team are highly cognizant of Meghan and Harry, but equally, they’re not scared of their shadows on this,” a royal source told the Telegraph. “William is the future king. Harry has taken his path, she’s doing her podcast, they’ve got their issues, but the palace isn’t going to run scared of that, so kudos to them.”
William and Kate were last in America in 2014, on a trip to New York. He reportedly wants the splashiness of coming stateside to maximize publicity for the Earthshot Prize, which will be held in Boston where the Cambridges are basing their charm offensive. “America is your best chance of projecting it internationally,” a source told the Telegraph. “That was the logic behind wanting to do it in Boston.”
Another source told Page Six: “It’s not bad to receive an award, but it shows the fundamental difference between [William and Kate]—who have constitutional roles, who are working on behalf of others—versus being a celebrity. They were always famous, but now they’re reached a different stage in their public lives—they’re different types of figures.”
Harry and Meghan will receive an award at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation Ripple of Hope Gala in New York.
Kerry Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy’s daughter and president of the foundation, recently told El Confidencial’s Vanitatis magazine that the award was for their “heroic” stance against the “structural racism” of the royal family. “They went to the oldest institution in UK history and told them what they were doing wrong, that they couldn’t have structural racism within the institution; that they could not maintain a misunderstanding about mental health… Few would have the courage to question their colleagues, family and community about the power structure they maintained, and this is what Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have done.”
Charlotte beats Edward to Edinburgh title
King Charles is saving the title Duchess of Edinburgh for Princess Charlotte, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s daughter, the Mail on Sunday reports. This means the title of Duke of Edinburgh won’t go to Prince Edward as had once been anticipated.
A source told the paper: “Discussions are under way, but the favored outcome for the King is that this title ought to go to Princess Charlotte. ‘It would be a fitting way to remember the queen—who, of course, had the title Duchess of Edinburgh—and a way for His Majesty to honor the line of succession.”
Charlotte is third in line to the throne, after her dad and brother Prince George—the rules of royal primogeniture were changed to allow a girl born to the couple the same rights as a boy when Kate was pregnant with Charlotte.
A source said: “Charlotte’s position is historically significant because she is the first female member of the royal family whose place in the line of succession will not be surpassed by her younger brother. So, it is constitutionally significant that Charlotte should be given such a corresponding title, because it is not beyond the realms of possibility that she will accede the throne if, for example, Prince George does not have children.”
Perhaps Edward isn’t that surprised; the lack of movement on the title being bestowed upon him “had not gone unnoticed,” a source told the Mail. Now, Charles is reportedly trying to figure out which title to give him. “It shows you what the King is thinking,” a source told the Mail of the Charlotte move. “It’s about promoting those directly in line to the throne rather than those on the edges.”
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Harry: excellent lover, excellent bacon sandwich skills
Catherine, aka Cat, Ommaney, who was one of the stars of the ill-fated Bravo show, The Real Housewives of D.C., has come forward to dish once more on her claims to have had a month-long affair with Prince Harry in 2006, when he was 21 and she 34. It was, she says, “the time of my life.”
Ommaney first spoke of the affair in 2006, but told the Sun that she was dishing again because she didn’t expect the relationship to feature in Harry’s own, much-anticipated memoir, Spare.
“I doubt I will be in Harry’s book as a prince can’t run off with a 34-year-old mother-of-two, it’s just not the done thing, Ommaney told the paper. She was separated from ex-husband Stephen when she and Harry met in a trendy bar in London’s Chelsea in May 2006. At the time, he was dating Chelsy Davy, but Ommaney said she wasn’t sure of they were together at the time.
Ommaney says: “Harry was wearing an Australian-style hat that made me laugh so I asked him, ‘What are you doing looking like a t*** in that?’ I don’t think he was used to people taking the Mickey and once we started talking, it was like there was no one else was in the room,” Ommaney said. “He was only 21 so a relationship was the furthest thing from my mind. But when everyone started leaving at around 11pm, Harry pointed to one of three Range Rovers parked outside and said, ‘Hop in with me,’ which I found very flattering.
“We were driven to Eclipse nightclub in South Kensington and whisked downstairs to the VIP area. A few moments later the manager came over and asked, ‘What is your favorite song?’ Harry said, ‘Gnarls Barkley, Crazy.’ It came on a second later and I said, ‘You are so spoiled.’ Harry just laughed.”
Later in the evening, Ommaney told Harry, “‘I’m starving, do you make a good bacon sandwich?’ He said, ‘I make an excellent bacon sandwich’ and we went back to his friend’s place in Chelsea.”
True to his word on his bacon sandwich-making skills, later Harry “lifted me by my waist off the floor and held me against the wall. He gave me the most incredible, passionate kiss I have ever had in my life. I was absolutely speechless,” said Ommaney.
When the tabloids got wind of the relationship, all communication ceased until they bumped into each other at a polo match in Barbados—because rich people. “Harry pushed past his bodyguards to give me a kiss and a hug and we had a great conversation. In hindsight it’s a shame we couldn’t have remained friends,” Ommaney said.
“If Harry walked through the door here now, he would probably give me a high five and I am sure we will meet again, because the world is a small place. I hope he is happy and has found some freedom finally, because that is something he was desperately searching for back then. I hope Meghan looks after him and I don’t wish him anything other than happiness and success because he is a very brave, charismatic, incredibly funny, intelligent and lovely human being.”
Andrew angry at axing of his police guard
Prince Andrew is set to formally complain after learning his taxpayer-funded police guard is going to be axed. The security costs £3 million ($3.6 million) a year. A source told the Sun on Sunday: “He is going to write to the Home Office and the Met Police to complain about losing his taxpayer-funded security.”
Andrew was stripped of his official royal duties earlier this year in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein/Virginia Roberts Giuffre scandal. Giuffre claimed Andrew sexually assaulted her three times when she was underage and being sexually trafficked by Epstein. Andrew denied this, but later paid her millions of dollars in an out-of-court settlement.
Queen Camilla’s six “companions” have been revealed by the Sunday Times, replacing the traditional role of royal ladies-in-waiting. The latter were with the queen most of the time; Camilla’s will only accompany her to “a few key events each year,” the paper says. They are the Marchioness of Lansdowne, the Hon Lady (Katharine) Brooke, Jane von Westenholz, Sarah Troughton, Lady Sarah Keswick and Baroness “Carlyn” Chisholm.
“Several of them are expected to join the Queen in their new roles for the first time at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, when Camilla will host a high-profile reception raising awareness of violence against women and girls,” the Times says.
A senior royal source told the paper: “The Queen Consort did not want or need ladies-in-waiting and the queen’s companions will have a different role. They are there to provide Her Majesty with support and company. At the end of a very busy day, it is nice to have a longstanding friend beside you.”
This week in royal history
This week in 2020, the queen was reportedly trying to figure out which royals she could safely spend that Christmas with, because of strict COVID lockdown rules. In the end, the queen and Prince Philip spent December 25 privately at Windsor Castle, the first time in more than 30 years that she was not with her family at the Sandringham estate.
So, who will win this week’s American east coast royal grudge match for pictures and column inches? First up, it’s Will and Kate in Boston; then Harry and Meghan in New York. Let the silent war of glassy smiles commence.
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