How Queen Elizabeth's Headpiece Choices Hinted At Her Declining Health

queen elizabeth headpiece health

Sep. 14 2022, Published 7:00 p.m. ET

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Though Queen Elizabeth's death was very unexpected to some, royal experts first saw signs of her declining health a few years ago.

For example, at the State Opening of Parliament, the matriarch — who died at age 96 on September 8 — usually wore the Imperial State Crown, but in 2019, she swapped it out for a lightweight tiara.

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"It was a shock to say the least," one insider said at the time, who noted she seemed too "weak" to don the traditional accessory. "The State Opening of Parliament is a sacred ceremony and wearing the crown is part of it. People were whispering under their breath."

The purple headpiece weighs in at a hefty 3 pounds thanks to the 2,000+ diamonds, pearls, emeralds and other jewels encrusted. "Her failure to wear the crown is stirring up fears that she hasn't got long to live," a royal courtier noted of the situation.

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Her ailments were also hinted at after she was forced to pull out of several engagements over the past two years. In fact, just one day before her death, she canceled a Privy Council meeting with Prime Minister Liz Truss.

On the other hand, Today anchor Jenna Bush Hager believes the Queen's death was a surprise to her loved ones, as the night prior, she dined with King Charles. "I mean we had a wonderful evening, filled with conversation, it felt joyful," she recalled.


The TV personality was scheduled to chat with Charles and Queen Consort Camilla the following day, but the gathering was canceled. "They said, 'The Queen is ill, and they have gone and rushed off to be with her,'" she shared. "And we just said, ‘Our hearts are with them.'"

Queen Elizabeth II
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"We were just hours away from our interview when [Camilla] and her husband took off to go see Her Majesty the Queen in Balmoral," the journalist explained. "This is not something they do lightly. They have schedules that are packed full of events for philanthropy. Our interview was just one of many things the Duchess had in her calendar today, so we know from the palace that this is not something they would do lightly."

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Later that day, Buckingham Palace confirmed Queen Elizabeth had passed.

The royal sources spoke to Radar.

For more on the late monarch, tune into the latest episode of the critically acclaimed podcast, "The Firm: Blood, Lies and Royal Succession." Listen below.


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