King Charles wasn’t with Queen Elizabeth when he first learned of her death, according to a new royal book.
Instead, the monarch had left her bedside in Balmoral to pick mushrooms and was sitting behind the wheel of his car when his phone rang. His most senior aide took the call as Charles pulled over, and it was then he was first addressed as “Your Majesty.”
The revelation is the latest to emerge from the upcoming biography by Robert Hardman entitled ‘Charles III: New King, New Court. The Inside Story’. It details how the king came to power following the Queen’s death on September 8, 2022, aged 96.
Excerpts of the book have now been released by the Daily Mail ahead of its publication on January 18. This particular passage claimed Charles went to forage for fungus in a bid to “clear his head” after spending an hour by his mother’s side just before she died.
The biography also claims the king tried to contact his youngest son, Prince Harry, in the immediate aftermath but was unable to reach him. Hardman also gives insight into Harry’s claims Prince William ignored his texts following their grandmother’s passing, the Daily Star previously reported.
In his memoir, Spare, Harry described how he then texted Prince William to ask about travel arrangements – but despite sending two messages, received no reply from his brother.
“Clearly, Prince William did not regard this as the appropriate moment for the intensely difficult conversation he needed to have with his brother,” he wrote. Hardman said the Firm were concerned about plans for Harry’s biography, which was released the following January, and were still reeling from the Sussexes’ Oprah Winfrey interview in 2021.
Sir Edward Young, the Queen’s private secretary, also recalled Her Majesty’s final moments in a passage from the soon-to-be-released memoir. Sir Edward, who was at the Scottish estate when she passed away, wrote of her death: “Very peaceful. In her sleep. Slipped away. Old age.
“She wouldn’t have been aware of anything. No pain.”
The note was written shortly after the monarch’s death and had been lodged in the Royal Archives. It has only now been made public, a year and a half after the Queen’s death.