QUEEN Elizabeth II has graced the world on visits to more than 120 countries. Whether it be with members of her family, or solely accompanied by her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, prior to his retirement from official engagements in 2019, she has always appeared charming and cheery. In her varied roles promoting peace, diplomatic relations and even creating political milestones – such as her visit to Northern Ireland – she has maintained a happy demeanour. Yet a royal insider has now let slip the 92-year-old feels an “obvious discomfort” when she is in the spotlight.
In royal author Kitty Kelley’s new book, The Royals, she opens up on the monarch’s real feelings.
She quotes the Queen’s close advisor, Gwen Robyns, who let slip the unexpected detail on her relations with others.
Kitty wrote: “After years of travel the Queen eventually learned to carve a way for herself, but with great effort.
“‘She was always proper but never warm and ingratiating,’ said Gwen Robyns.
“‘Still stilted and remote, she held herself at a distance so she would never make a mistake, never put a foot wrong.
“She was so insecure that was the only way she could handle her role.
“She’s not a woman who lights up in public like her mother, who on the surface is all bonnets, smiles, and feathers, but underneath is steel – cold hard steel with a marshmallow casing.’”
The insight might come as a shock to fans of Prince Charles’ mother, especially if they have seen for themselves the UK’s longest-serving monarch at royal events.
Meanwhile, the monarch’s fear of flying while on such overseas excursions has also come to light.
In his new book Queen of the World, he told how Prince Harry’s grandmother is “famously stoical” about the dangers of royal life while on excursions.
He added: “However, she [the Queen] has never been a great fan of air travel.
“If St Christopher, the patron saint of travellers, can afford any extra protection then so much the better.”
He emphasised the royal’s distaste for jetting away in a plane as he referenced former royal photographer, Reginald Davis, who covered many of her early royal tours.
Queen Elizabeth II is said to have confessed: “I’m never relaxed flying.”