Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Late Queen 'died in her sleep' without pain, new memo reveals

The late Queen died on 8 September 2022

Queen Elizabeth II in a green outfit
Matthew Moore
Matthew MooreOnline News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
Share this:

A new memo which was recorded by the late Queen's private secretary, Sir Edward Young, has revealed insights into her final moments, revealing that she died peacefully in her sleep.

The document, which was shared by the Daily Mail, reads: "Very peaceful. In her sleep. Slipped away. Old age. She wouldn't have been aware of anything. No pain." The memo has now been entered into the royal archives after being made public for the first time and forms part of the Mail's royal writer, Robert Hardman's new book, Charles III: New King, New Court. The Inside Story.

queen in green outfit signing a book© Getty Images
The memo revealed the Queen died in her sleep

The book adds that Sir Edward was then presented with a red box with two letters from Her Majesty. These letters were addressed to King Charles and Sir Edward.

Other extracts from the book revealed that King Charles and Queen Camilla spent an hour with the Queen before she passed away on 8 September 2022, and that the news of Her Majesty's death was shared with Charles as he returned to Balmoral after picking mushrooms.

King Charles III looks on during a Commonwealth and Nature reception© Getty
Charles was told about his mother's death by an aide

Fears about the Queen's health led to Charles going over his notes on London Bridge, the codeword for the operation about the Queen's death, on a helicopter ride over to Balmoral, and he personally told Prince William and Prince Harry to head to Balmoral, although it was believed at the time that the monarch would have days rather than hours left.

The biography also revealed that Princess Anne and the Queen's closest friend, Angela Kelly, would alternate at her bedside, while the Rev. Kenneth MacKenzie read to the Queen from the Bible.

Princess Anne, Princess Royal during the Ceremonial Procession   during the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021 in Windsor, England. © Getty
The Princess Royal spent time by her late mother's bedside

In a BBC documentary about Charles' first year on the throne, Anne spoke about her mother's death, saying it was "purely serendipity" that she had been at Balmoral at the time.

"I had been... two days up on the West Coast and I was coming back, stayed the night, was going south," the Princess Royal said. "We always enjoyed being at Balmoral. We spent a lot of time there in our youth and.. a lot of it was a probably more independent life than almost anywhere else. That's probably still true. That's a bonus."

WATCH: Princess Anne recalls her late mother

Referring to the late Queen, she said: "I think there was a moment when she felt that it would be more difficult if she died at Balmoral. I think that we did try and persuade her that shouldn't be part of the decision making process. So I hope she felt that was right in the end because I think we did."

READ: Zara Tindall's sad admission that son Lucas doesn't remember the late Queen

REVEALED: Duchess Sophie's secret tribute to late Queen everyone missed

More Royalty

See more