When Queen Elizabeth died, her official death certificate read that she had died of “old age”.

But now a biographer has claimed that the late monarch was battling a form of myeloma, bone marrow cancer, before her death.

In British author Gyles Brandreth’s new book, Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait, he claims that he “heard” the Queen had cancer in the lead-up to her death, and that she kept it to herself after Prince Philip died.

“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,” an extract from the book published in The Daily Mail reads.

“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.”

Brandreth was a friend of the late Prince Philip and a former politician, and explained that the Queen wanted to be by her husband’s side in his final moments.

She, however, considered it her duty to continue despite her “intense personal grief” after Prince Philip’s death.

Sunrise royal editor Rob Jobson said that the bone cancer rumours were upsetting but the truth of the matter is that they were going around for quite some time as the Queen’s health deteriorated.

“She was clearly suffering in that build-up.”

“I think even Brandreth himself wrote that [cancer] was what he heard, he’s not actually saying it was definite.

“But the details were swirling around for a very long time and that was one of the main things that was reoccurring.”

The rumours continue just months after royal biographer Lady Colin Campbell, who is most well-known for her books about Princess Diana and the Queen Mother, also claimed that the Queen was suffering from a serious bone condition.

Lady Campbell, however, wouldn’t reveal “the word that accurately conveys her diagnosis” out of respect for her “dignity and privacy”.


“If she wants to reveal that word, or her advisors wish to reveal it, that is up to them. I don’t think one needs to use the word to get across the point that I think most people will be able to pick up, that this is a really serious situation,” Lady Campbell said in a video just prior to announcing the monarch’s passing.


“The condition has been induced, in part, according to people who know her well, has been created by the tremendous stress to which she has been subjected over the last three years.


“Can you imagine an older woman, as her life is winding down, and she is hoping to enjoy the last few years of her life in good health, being bombarded by the tremendous abuse to which she and the monarchy have been subjected?”


She went on to say she had tried to warn people that the Queen was “far more ill than they thought she was” over the few months prior to Her Majesty’s death.

“I have on several occasions in the last few weeks, if not months, made the point that she had been affected to her bones. I used that repeatedly to get across the point that what she was suffering from was a malady of the bones,” she continued.

“There are two maladies of the bones, one is more painful than the other. Fortunately the Queen’s malady, although it falls in the same category and condition of the more painful one, has been the less painful one.

“It has been restrictive, and I will not go into the medical treatments she has been receiving. I have previously indicated that her bruising was due to cannulas and I have left it at that.”

Image: Getty Images

This article first appeared on OverSixty.