The Queen secretly fought a particularly painful form of cancer in the last year of her life, a new book has claimed.
An upcoming biography of Her Majesty written by a close friend of Prince Philip claims that the Queen had a form of bone marrow cancer – the most common symptom of which is bone pain.
The statements about her health struggle have been made in the upcoming biography by Gyles Brandreth, Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait.
The Queen’s death certificate, released in September, officially recorded her cause of death as “old age”.
Mr Brandreth wrote in the biography, which is being serialised in the Daily Mail: “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.”
According to the book, however, Her Majesty remained incredibly stoic and hard working in her final years.
In one heartbreaking detail, the Queen is said to have told a lady-in-waiting that keeping busy helped her to cope with Prince Philip’s death.
She is also said to have avoided self-pity, commenting: “My husband would certainly not have approved.”
However, she continued to push herself – even doing so to such an extent that she suffered from sudden low energy last autumn, with doctors calling on her to rest.
Buckingham Palace declined to respond to a request for comment from Express.co.uk.