The Queen's reportedly only ever shared a “glimpse of her despair” amid one of the hardest years of her life as she was overwhelmed by divorce “sadness”.
- Her Majesty is said to have been left deeply “distressed” by the divorces of three out of four of her children, with each couple separating in the same year.
- According to a former royal staff member no-one should “underestimate the pain” the Queen has been through.
- This royal news (opens in new tab) comes as Prince William’s sweet nod to happier times with Prince Harry was revealed (opens in new tab).
A new royal biography has delved into the Queen’s heartbreak during one of the most challenging years for The Firm (opens in new tab), with three out of four of the monarch’s children going on to divorce. Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips and Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson all separated in 1992.
In a speech to mark the 40th year of her accession to the throne that November, Her Majesty dubbed it her “Annus Horribilis” or “Horrible Year” in light of all she and her children had been through. Now a new biography has claimed that the Queen was far more “distressed” about these three divorces than she let on at the time.
Delving into this painful year in his book, Queen of Our Times: The Life of Queen Elizabeth II, Robert Hardman claimed that despite being “stoical” she felt divorce "despair".
“Outwardly stoical, as ever, the Queen was finding the divorce talks deeply upsetting,” Robert Hardman wrote, according to Page Six (opens in new tab). “Another former member of the Household recalls that, every now and then, there would be a glimpse of her despair.”
A former palace staff member reportedly claimed to Robert that the Queen felt “sheer sadness” at the news that three out of four of her children’s marriages had come to an end.
“I said, ‘Ma’am, it seems to be happening everywhere. This is almost common practice,'” the former staffer alleged he’d told the monarch. “But she just said, ‘Three out of four!’ in sheer sadness and exasperation. One shouldn’t underestimate the pain she’s been through.”
Meanwhile, Charles Anson, the Queen’s former press secretary reportedly revealed in the book that despite her immense sadness, she didn’t allow herself to be “knocked back”.
“The issue was sometimes embarrassing, but she got on with it. It is immensely reassuring in those situations to work for someone who isn’t knocked back,” he is said to have told Robert.
This comes as a Buckingham Palace aide previously alleged to the Sunday Express that as far as the monarch is concerned, “enough is enough”.
“The Queen is the head of the Church and so from a point of principle she is opposed to royal divorces,” they claimed. “However, she has witnessed the divorces not just of her sister Princess Margaret, but also those of her three eldest children. She now feels, to put it bluntly, that enough is enough.”
“She does not want to name names, but she is adamant that there are going to be no further royal divorces during her reign,” they declared.
The Queen's divorce "despair" is understood to have been a hugely difficult time for her and the wider Royal Family. Though as she's done consistently throughout her reign, it seems Her Majesty remained stoically committed to her royal role and duties despite huge personal sadness.