The Queen secretly fought painful cancer in the final year of her life, Prince Philip’s friend has claimed in a new book.
The claims about her health battle have been made in an upcoming biography by Gyles Brandreth called Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait.
Her death certificate, released in September, officially recorded her cause of death as “old age”.
Mr Brandreth wrote: “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 royal biography, serialised in the Daily Mail, also revealed Queen Elizabeth’s incredible stoicism during the final months of her life.
Her late Majesty is said to have told a lady-in-waiting that she was determined to keep busy as it helped her cope with Prince Philip’s death.
And she is said to have not wanted to give way to self-pity, saying: “My husband would certainly not have approved”.
But she pushed herself so hard that by last autumn she suffered sudden low energy and was advised by doctors to rest, Brandreth wrote.
Her spirits were even kept up by television including BBC drama Line of Duty, although she sometimes struggled to keep up with the plot.
It is also said that she had no hesitation in stripping “favourite child” Prince Andrew of his role following his car crash interview about Jeffrey Epstein in 2019.
A senior courtier revealed: “The Queen took a firm grip of things.
“To use the military jargon, there were only few days between flash and bang. Action was called for and she took it.”
But she deliberately let photographers snap her riding with the Duke of York the day after to show her personal support.
She is also said to have carefully listened to Prince Andrew’s own account of his friendship with the paedophile financier, and just gave the one-word response: “Intriguing”.