Well done Edward! Queen 'deeply upset' that 3 of her 4 children got divorced
'I don’t remember a single occasion when I went to see her and she exclaimed, 'No! What next?'' Hardman was informed by one of the Queen's staff
According to a newly released biography of the royal family, the Queen was "deeply" disappointed that three out of four of her children's marriages ended in divorce. The 95-year-old monarch's two sons, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, as well as her daughter, Princess Anne, are all divorced, leaving her sole child, Prince Edward, to remain married.
"Outwardly stoical, as ever, the Queen was finding the divorce talks deeply upsetting," Robert Hardman writes in his book 'Queen of Our Times: The Life of Queen Elizabeth II' that was launched on March 17. Adding that, "Another former member of the Household recalls that, every now and then, there would be a glimpse of her despair."
Hardman was told by a former royal aide that the Queen was considerably more "distressed" than she ever let on. "I said, 'Ma'am, it seems to be happening everywhere. This is almost common practice,'" the former worker remembered, adding, "But she just said, 'Three out of four!' in sheer sadness and exasperation. One shouldn’t underestimate the pain she’s been through."
Charles Anson, the Queen's former press secretary, also said in the book that the Queen never lost her cool, even when the marriages of Charles, Andrew, and Anne fell apart in 1992. "I don’t remember a single occasion when I went to see her and she exclaimed, 'No! What next?'" Hardman was informed by Anson. "The issue was sometimes embarrassing, but she got on with it. It is immensely reassuring in those situations to work for someone who isn’t knocked back."
The queen was "never short; never irritable; completely steady," according to Anson. Hardman noted that staffers were impressed with how the Queen handled the highly public situation surrounding Charles and Princess Diana.
The author and journalist further wrote in his book, "Her mother’s strategy in these situations — to carry on as if they were not happening — had earned her the nickname 'imperial ostrich' among royal staff." "The Queen’s response, as ever, was to follow the example of her father, absorbed from his days at sea, and to treat adversity like the ocean."
"While the Queen has sometimes been accused of being slow to act, there has never been a charge of panic. Her default mode in the face of a crisis is stillness," he continued.
Charles, 73, and the late Diana separated in 1996 after 15 years of marriage following his adultery scandal with Camilla Parker Bowles, whom he married in 2005. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will be recognized as Queen Consort when Charles becomes King.
Princess Anne, who is 71 years old, was married to Mark Phillips from 1973 to 1992. In 1992, she married Timothy Laurence. From 1986 to 1996, Prince Andrew was married to Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. Since then, he's been accused of sexual misconduct. On the other hand, Prince Edward, the Queen's son, has been married to Sophie, Countess of Wessex, since 1999.