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The Queen was 'clearly not well' in days before her death, Boris Johnson reveals

The former Prime Minister was one of the last people to see the late monarch

boris johnson queen elizabeth 2019
Chloe Best
Lifestyle Features Editor
12 September 2022
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Boris Johnson has opened up about his final meeting with the Queen, and said she was "clearly not well" at the time.

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The former Prime Minister was one of the last people to see the late monarch when he visited her at Balmoral on Tuesday to tender his resignation, just two days before her death, and he said she remained "absolutely on it" despite her ill health.

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"One of the reasons it was so shocking on the eighth to hear about her death was because in that audience she had been absolutely on it. Just two days before her death," Boris told the BBC.

"She was actively focused on geopolitics, on UK politics, quoting statesmen from the 50s, it was quite extraordinary."

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The Conservative backbencher, who was the 14th prime minister of the Queen's 70-year-reign, said that he was moved by her "sense of duty" as she continued her royal engagements until just 48 hours before her death.

Queen Elizabeth Balmoral© Photo: Getty Images

Boris Johnson said the Queen was "clearly not well" when he met her on Tuesday

"She seemed very bright, very focused. Look, she was clearly not well, I think that was the thing I found so moving when we all heard about her death two days later," Boris shared.

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"I just thought how incredible that her sense of duty had kept her going in the way that it had, given how ill she obviously was, how amazing that she should be so bright and so focussed. So it was a pretty emotional time."

Queen Elizabeth Liz Truss© Photo: Getty Images

The former Prime Minister visited the Queen to officially hand over to new PM Liz Truss

Boris shared a heartfelt tribute to the Queen when news of her death was announced on Thursday, and described it as "our country's saddest day". The MP reflected on her "deep wisdom, and historic understanding," along with the "warmth and gentle humour" she brought to her role.

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The 58-year-old has since played a role in several of the formal proceedings to mark King Charles III's accession to the throne, including attending the proclamation at St James's Palace on Saturday, and the presentation of Addresses by both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall.

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