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Queen Elizabeth II struggled privately with the divorces of three out of her four children, according to a new report.
In an upcoming biography titled, “Queen of Our Times: The Life of Queen Elizabeth II”, written by Robert Hardman, the author details the private pain the queen reportedly endured during the divorces of Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne.
“Outwardly stoical, as ever, the Queen was finding the divorce talks deeply upsetting,” Hardman notes in the book, according to People.
“Another former member of the Household recalls that, every now and then, there would be a glimpse of her despair.”
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The biography is expected to be released April 5.
‘Sadness and exasperation’
“It distressed her much more than she let on,” a former staffer tells Hardman. “I said, ‘Ma’am, it seems to be happening everywhere. This is almost common practice.’ But she just said, ‘Three out of four!’ in sheer sadness and exasperation. One shouldn’t underestimate the pain she’s been through.”
The queen reportedly maintained her stoic composition, no matter how bad private matters were. In the biography, Hardman details her “annus horribilis,” or her horrible year, in 1992.
“I don’t remember a single occasion when I went to see her and she exclaimed, ‘No! What next?'” her former press secretary Charles Anson told Hardman. “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.”
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Her former press secretary added that the queen was “never short; never irritable; completely steady.”
In 1992, a fire destroyed part of Windsor Castle. It was also the end of the marriages of Charles, now-embattled Andrew and Anne. Additionally, Queen Elizabeth II was battling scandals surrounding Princess Diana and Prince Charles.
The queen channeled her mother’s composition when dealing with Charles’ divorce from Diana, which Hardman mentions in the biography.
“Her mother’s strategy in these situations — to carry on as if they were not happening — had earned her the nickname ‘imperial ostrich’ among royal staff,” Hardman writes. “The Queen’s response, as ever, was to follow the example of her father, absorbed from his days at sea, and to treat adversity like the ocean.”
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Sir Major John, who worked closely with the queen during this time, told Hardman, “Storms will come and go, some worse than others.”
“But she will always put her head down and plow through them. The Queen has always lived by the doctrine, ‘This too shall pass.’ “
Hardman writes, “While the Queen has sometimes been accused of being slow to act, there has never been a charge of panic. Her default mode in the face of a crisis is stillness.”
Members of the royal family recently celebrated the Queen on International Women’s Day on March 8.
Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, all took part in recognizing the queen on International Women’s Day.
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“Mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and Head of State, The Queen’s extraordinary reign has been longer than any other monarch in British history – inspiring a nation and dedicating her life to the service of the Commonwealth and its people,” the caption read.