“It was the last one that had gone up to the Queen before her death,” Hardman wrote in The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy. “Like all red boxes, it had just two keys, one for the monarch and the other for her duty private secretary.”
The note remained private, but the writer viewed it as a sign that Elizabeth was aware of her fate.
“We will probably never know what they said. However, it is clear enough that the Queen had known that the end was imminent and had planned accordingly. Were they final instructions or final farewells? Or both?” Hardman said. “Elizabeth II had been completing her own last pieces of unfinished business.”
Elizabeth had a reputation for being stern, and in her final moments, she prioritized her duties and the institution she dedicated her life to.
“The Queen had always taken it extremely seriously,” Hardman continued. “The paperwork had gone up to her two days before so that she could go through the notes and tick her choices."
"Here it was, completed and returned for Sir Edward to make the necessary arrangements. It was the last document ever handled by Queen Elizabeth II," the royal expert added. "Even on her deathbed, there had been work to do. And she had done it."
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On the evening of September 6, 2022, "she was quite buzzy over pre-dinner drinks and talking about various prime ministers she had known," according to the royalist.
"Even in familiar surroundings, the exertions of this, her most fundamental constitutional duty, had taken a greater toll than anyone had imagined," the editor stated.
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Elizabeth was looking forward to diplomatic meetings, but things quickly changed.
''It was purely serendipity that I was there," Anne was quoted saying. "I'd been two days up on the West Coast, and I was coming back, stayed the night, and was going south."