Buckingham Palace orchestrated “a military-style operation” in order to help a frail Queen Elizabeth participate in her final Jubilee ceremony last year, according to a bombshell new book about the British royal family.
In “Our King,” British journalist Robert Jobson related the “massive effort” made by the 96-year-old monarch to mark her 70 years on the throne during the four-day celebration in June.
“On her insistence, a military-style exercise was put in place so that no one could see she was having to use a wheelchair,” Jobson writes, according to an excerpt obtained by the Daily Mail.
“In considerable discomfort, Her Majesty was taken by wheelchair to the helicopter pad at Windsor. At the palace, she was wheeled right up to the balcony doors, then helped to her feet so that she could stand — with the aid of a walking stick — alongside Charles and Camilla, plus William and his family.”
Jobson writes that the queen did not feel “strong enough” to attend the event, which featured tens of thousands paying their respects for her long rule. But she rallied, encouraged by her son Prince Charles, who “implored her to make a massive effort.”
“After a fireworks display, the Queen smiled with delight,” said Jobson. “It was her last salute to her people.”
The longest-reigning monarch in British history was unable to join her family at other Jubilee events, including a thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The service was attended by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who were loudly booed during their first joint royal appearance after leaving their royal duties in 2020 and fleeing to California.
The Queen also skipped a derby and party at Buckingham Palace, where a pre-recorded video sketch with Paddington Bear was the highlight of the evening, according to the book.
Queen Elizabeth died on Sept. 8, three months after her Jubilee.