The Royal Family Could Have Given Biographer Permission to Reveal Queen's Alleged Cancer Diagnosis, To Avoid "Breaking News" in Harry's Book

A plausible fan theory.

Queen Elizabeth
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson / Getty)

In his upcoming biography, Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait, royal expert Gyles Brandreth explores what life was like for the late Queen in her latter years.

Among the most shocking revelations in the book is Brandreth's allegation that the Queen battled cancer toward the end of her life and, although this has not been confirmed by the Royal Family nor by the Queen's official death certificate (which states that she died of "old age"), one royal expert claims that we have more than a few reasons to believe Brandreth's insights.

"Gyles, he has those friendships," podcaster Kinsey Schofield said on TalkTV, speaking to host Cristo Foufas.

"And I asked him about it and he said, 'Oh no, I would never say that they're my friends,' but Cristo, he's being humble. Camilla was on his podcast. The Queen consort was on his podcast.

"He worked really closely with Prince Philip on his book about Prince Philip. This is a man that truly had access to the Queen, truly had access to Prince Philip."

It follows that someone with such incredible access to the Royal Family wouldn't want to jeopardize that by making an unauthorized bombshell revelation like the one about the Queen's alleged cancer, or so Schofield seems to think anyway.

She revealed, "A very interesting fan theory: Somebody messaged me today suggesting that perhaps the family—because I don't know about you, but I've heard these rumors about bone marrow cancer for a very long time now—but a fan theory, someone tweeted me suggesting that perhaps Gyles got permission from the family to include this in his book, to ensure that it wasn't breaking news if Harry included it in Spare, which I think is a very intelligent theory.

"I think that that very much could be it."

prince harry spare memoir

(Image credit: Penguin Random House)

Spare, Prince Harry's much-anticipated memoir, is set for release on Jan. 10, and has long been worrying royal insiders with thoughts of what he might have included. It makes sense that, if the Duke of Sussex knew about his grandmother's supposed illness, the royals would want to ensure that the news got out in another way beforehand. Still, this is still very much a theory.

In his book, Brandreth writes, "I had heard that the Queen had a form of myeloma—bone marrow cancer—which would explain her tiredness and weight loss and those 'mobility issues' we were often told about during the last year or so of her life. The most common symptom of myeloma is bone pain, especially in the pelvis and lower back, and multiple myeloma is a disease that often affects the elderly."

He adds (via the Daily Mail), "Currently, there is no known cure, but treatment—including medicines to help regulate the immune system and drugs that help prevent the weakening of the bones—can reduce the severity of its symptoms and extend the patient's survival by months or two to three years.

Meanwhile, royal expert Omid Scobie has a very different perspective on the whole thing.

"One minute the Daily Mail is having a hernia about how disrespectful #TheCrown is, the next they’re paying for the serialisation of a book exposing the Queen’s 'secret cancer battle' just 12 weeks after her death," Scobie tweeted.

"Personally, I think unless it came from the Palace or HMTQ herself, private medical details (which were always fiercely guarded) should remain just that. It should never be okay to make that decision for someone."

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.