Gyles Brandreth “didn’t want to upset anyone” by claiming Queen Elizabeth had cancer when she died.
The 74-year-old author has caused a stir with his new book ‘Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait’ because he wrote the monarch – whose cause of death was attributed to old age following her passing in September aged 96 – had been suffering from myeloma, and though he stands by what he wrong, he dismissed suggestions the revelation was “intrusive”.
Speaking to HELLO! magazine, he said: “It’s not unusual for a doctor to write ‘old age’ on a death certificate when a person over 80 dies, as happened with the Queen.
“But I’d heard she had bone marrow cancer so I thought it was legitimate to include that paragraph.
“The queen’s doctor in Scotland, who had been her physician for 30 years, said they had known about her condition for some time and the end was not unexpected.
“I know some will feel my comment on her death is intrusive, but I don’t think it is.
“I really didn’t want to upset anyone, yet if it’s going to be confirmed – and one day it will – at least I, as a reporter, am saying what was out there.”
British TV personality Gyles has known the royal family for several years, and was close to the Queen's late husband Prince Philip, but he declined to run the book past King Charles before publication.
He explained: “I chose not to as I didn’t want to put them in the invidious position of having to read it.
“A world of responsibility has fallen on Charles’ shoulders and it would have seemed impertinent to send him a copy to which he had to respond.
“He hasn’t got time and I suspect he would think, ‘I don’t need to read this, I see my family through my own eyes.’
“I did give him a different book earlier this year, though. It was ‘The Oxford Book of Theatrical Anecdotes’. I think he’d enjoy that.”
But the former MP did send a copy to the king’s staff.
He added: “So they knew it was coming. If the queen’s ladies-in-waiting and her friends recognise the person they knew, I will be content.”