• Tuesday, April 23, 2024


Queen left sealed death-bed letter for son Charles, new book claims

The final red box of official correspondence included a private letter for the new King, brought down by staff at Balmoral Castle in Scotland – where she breathed her last

(File Photo) Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, at the Palace of Westminster on October 14, 2019 in London, England. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away at the age of 96 in September 2022, reportedly left a sealed death-bed letter for her son and heir, King Charles III, a new book has claimed.

According to a report in ‘The Daily Telegraph’ on Saturday, biographer Robert Hardman has written about the immediate aftermath of the Queen’s passing in a new biography of King Charles III and revealed how she was working on her traditional “red boxes” of official correspondence till the very end.

Her final red box included a private letter for the new King, brought down by staff at Balmoral Castle in Scotland – where she breathed her last on September 8, 2022.

The newspaper reports that Hardman describes how, as private secretaries Sir Edward Young and Sir Clive Alderton settled down to work their way through official business, a “footman appeared with a red box – the last one that had gone up to the Queen before her death.”

Saying Sir Edward was “not sure what to expect as he turned the lock,” Hardman writes: “Inside, he found that Elizabeth II had left a sealed letter to the Prince of Wales and a private letter to himself. Were they final instructions or final farewells? Or both?

“We will probably never know what they said. However, it is clear enough that the Queen had known that the end was imminent and had planned accordingly.”

The box also included the late Queen’s approved shortlist of candidates to receive the Order of Merit, one of the highest honours in the gift of the British monarch that is intended to reward distinguished service in public life.

Hardman notes: “It was the last document ever handled by Queen Elizabeth II. Even on her deathbed, there had been work to do. And she had done it.”

The newspaper reports that the biography, entitled ‘Charles III: New King. New Court. The Inside Story’ also describes how the late Queen had seemed “energised” by a win for her horse Love Affairs at the Goodwood races just days before on September 6, appearing “buzzy” over pre-dinner drinks and recalling the UK prime ministers she had known.

The Queen then decided to have dinner alone in her room after a tiring day of holding audiences with the outgoing prime minister, Boris Johnson, and incoming prime minister Liz Truss.

Her audience with Truss was to become the Queen’s last official duty and photograph as Britain’s longest-serving monarch.


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