The Queen was fighting secret illness before she died, Prince Philip’s friend claims in new book

Her late majesty is said to have fought a painful cancer in the final year of her life according to new biography.

The Queen wearing blue outfit and hat
(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen is said to have been fighting a secret illness before she died, according to claims made by one of Prince Philip’s friends in a new book.

The Queen was fighting a secret illness before she died, according to Prince Philip's friend Giles Brandreth who has made the claims in his new book.

The broadcaster and former MP was a close friend of the Queen's husband Prince Philip and he reveals her late Majesty is said to have had a form of bone marrow cancer, of which can cause bone pain.

The Queen died at Balmoral Castle on September 8, 2022, aged 96 (opens in new tab) , and her death certificate confirmed her cause of death (opens in new tab) as being of "old age".

But in his upcoming biography, Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait (opens in new tab), Mr Brandreth sheds some light on what he was told about the Queen's health.

He 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."

The book is being serialised in the Daily Mail, and Mr Brandreth added, "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."

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Ever since Queen Elizabeth II spent a rare night in hospital (opens in new tab) back in October 2021, she had been seen using a walking stick to aid her mobility during official engagements.

The Queen suffered with mobility issues in the months prior to her death - the palace confirmed in May 2022 that her late Majesty was suffering from episodic mobility (opens in new tab) which forced her to pull out of some royal engagements.

She was seen using a golf buggy to attend Chelsea Flower Show and reports a month later claimed Angela Kelly had moved into a suite (opens in new tab) next to the Queen’s private rooms at Windsor Castle, ahead of the Queen's Jubilee weekend.

Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait by Giles Brandreth is published on December 8th 2022, RRP £18.59 in hardback or £10,99 Kindle Edition. Alternatively the book, like Prince Harry's Spare memoir is available for free (opens in new tab) with an Audiable trial.

Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 15 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.