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Throughout her 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II has grown more than accustomed to media coverage of all varieties. But there is one subject of press attention the long-reigning sovereign does not particularly like. According to a new royal biography, Queen Elizabeth has never cared for the coverage her health gets, and there was quite a lot of it this past year.
In the last several months alone, Queen Elizabeth II’s health was the main focus of a number of stories. From the October news that she was missing a few engagements at the behest of her physicians, to her positive COVID-19 case, and her subsequent recovery, the queen could hardly catch a break from headlines about her health, and she was not at all amused. “Much to her annoyance, her health had become a national talking point,” royal biographer Robert Hardman writes in Queen of Our Times: The Life of Queen Elizabeth II.
Prince Andrew and Queen Elizabeth II shared a car ride to Prince Philip's memorial. https://t.co/jPeEiya26c
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“She has always hated this,” Hardman says of the queen’s far less than enthusiastic reaction to news about her health circulating among the press. The biographer even recalls an example that perfectly illustrates just how much Queen Elizabeth has always disliked speculation concerning her health, writing about a time in “the eighties, when a newspaper revealed that the Queen had made a (routine) visit to a well known cardiologist, she happened to be visiting a Scottish lighthouse the next day. She made a very ostentatious point of walking up the stairs to the very top and waving at the cameras below.”
Even at 95, Queen Elizabeth still finds a way to “make light of any illness,” writes Hardman. She’ll even refer “to painful feet and ankles as ‘my gout’, when it is nothing of the sort,” the author notes. These days, the Queen has been taking meetings both in-person and virtual and attending some special royal family engagements. But it’s clear that duty is always front of mind for the monarch, who’d likely rather have the focus shift to matters she sees as far more important than any updates on her health.
Queen of Our Times: The Life of Queen Elizabeth II by Robert Hardman
Queen Elizabeth II has been a global icon for 70 years. Since ascending to the throne at the age of 25, the long-reigning sovereign has approached her historic role with poise and quiet confidence. But behind the veneer of monarchy, Queen Elizabeth has been the leader of a family and household through good times and bad. Robert Hardman’s new biography, Queen of Our Times, takes longtime royal fans behind the veil with unprecedented access to royal records, friends, staff, and more, as the legendary leader and the House of Windsor celebrates her landmark reign. This will surely be known as the definitive book on Queen Elizabeth II.
Before you go, click here to see the best photos of Queen Elizabeth II before she was queen.
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