The death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, 2022 sent shockwaves around the world.
The monarch, who held the record for the longest reign in history with 70 years on the throne, died at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle, surrounded by some of her family and some of her closest collaborators.
One of them was the one who revealed what the last hours of the woman who defined an era were like.
How did Queen Elizabeth die?
Biographer Robert Hardman offers an intimate look at the reign of Charles III in his book “Charles III: New King, New Court. The Inside Story”.
Among the aspects he covers is an account of Queen Elizabeth II’s final hours, based on the testimony of her private secretary, Sir Edward Young.
Young was with the monarch until the end and said she died “very peaceful. In her sleep. Slipped away. Old age. She wouldn’t have been aware of anything. No pain”, reports Daily Mail.
She was accompanied by her daughter, Princess Anne, and her eldest grandson, Peter Phillips.
There was also her friend and personal assistant, Angela Kelly, and the Reverend Kenneth MacKenzie, who gave her spiritual comfort and read passages from the Bible.
Charles was one of the last to arrive at Balmoral Castle where his mother lay dying. He had remained in London to avoid attracting attention.
But when Princess Anne alerted him to the seriousness of the situation, he did not hesitate to take a helicopter to Scotland.
It was he who arranged for his siblings and children to join Elizabeth in her final moments.
Letters from Queen Elizabeth
Before she died, Queen Elizabeth II left two handwritten letters that she kept in a red box.
One of the letters was to her son, Charles, and the other was to her private secretary, Edward Young. The contents of the letters are confidential and have not been released to the public.
The book’s author, suggests that the Queen was aware that her life was coming to an end and that she wanted to leave some instructions or farewells to her loved ones.
The book also notes that the Queen continued to work until her last days and even drew up a list of candidates for the Order of Merit, an award she personally bestowed.
She also received two British prime ministers in her audience – Boris Johnson, who resigned in July 2022, and Liz Truss, who replaced him. Johnson spent about 15 minutes with the Queen, while Truss spent about 20 minutes.
Truss stated that the Queen stood up to greet her and noted that her physical condition was delicate. The images of Truss meeting the Queen were the last public photographs of the monarch, who died two days later.