Queen Elizabeth II found her divorced children “upsetting”, according to a new book.
The 95-year-old monarch was ‘outwardly stoic’ when three of her children – Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew – suffered the breakdown of their marriage, according to ‘Queen of Our Times: The Life of Queen Elizabeth II’ by author Robert Hardman.
In her new biography, an excerpt from which appears in the new issue of PEOPLE magazine, it read: Outwardly stoic, as always, the Queen found the divorce talks deeply upsetting. Another former member of the House remembers that every once in a while there was a glimpse of his desperation.”
A former aide to Her Majesty – whose youngest son, Prince Edward, is still married to his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex – told Robert: “It has distressed her much more than it has I said, ‘Ma’am, it seems like it’s happening everywhere. It is an almost common practice. But she just said, ‘Three out of four!’ in sadness and exasperation. The pain she endured should not be underestimated.”
According to the book, the Queen just “got into it” in 1992, the year she joked “annus horribilis” in her Christmas speech.
Charles Anson, her ex-publicist, told Robert: “I can’t remember a single occasion when I went to see her and she said, ‘No! What’s next?” is extremely reassuring in these situations to work for someone who isn’t knocked down.”
Former Prime Minister Sir John Major – who led the government from 1990 to 1997 – said Her Majesty lived by the adage ‘this too shall pass’.
The 78-year-old politician said: “Storms come and go, some worse than others. But she will always bow her head and ride through them. The Queen has always lived by the doctrine: ‘That too shall pass’.”
Robert ruled that the Queen’s “default mode” during dark days was “stillness”.
He wrote in the book, which was released on April 5: “While the Queen has sometimes been accused of being slow to act, there has never been an accusation of panic. Her default mode in the face of a crisis is immobility.”