Inside the Queen’s final days: Elizabeth discussed the afterlife and watched TV with staff at Balmoral

11 September 2022, 13:39 | Updated: 12 September 2022, 11:51

Her Majesty was brought her a copy of the Racing Post each morning by the Page of the Backstairs Paul Whybrew and Serjeant-at-Arms Barry Mitford.
Her Majesty was brought her a copy of the Racing Post each morning by the Page of the Backstairs Paul Whybrew and Serjeant-at-Arms Barry Mitford. . Picture: Alamy

By Lauren Lewis

The Queen discussed the afterlife, watched TV with staff and read the Racing Post in the final days before her death, it has been revealed.

Her Majesty was brought her a copy of the Racing Post each morning by the Page of the Backstairs Paul Whybrew and Serjeant-at-Arms Barry Mitford.

The pair then sat down with the monarch to watch some TV, the Sun reported.

The Queen's best friend Angela Kelly, who worked as a personal assistant and dresser, was also by her side until the end.

She spent her final weekend at Balmoral with the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields.

He said she seemed frail but in "really good spirits" and described her as "fabulous" and "very engaging" company.

The Queen arrived at Balmoral Castle, where she usually spent three months during the summer, on July 23.

She first stayed in Craigowan Lodge at Royal Deeside before moving to nearby Balmoral Castle on August 9.

She was expected to stay there until October to take time away from royal duties because of medical concerns.

Balmoral was one of the Queen's favourite places and she was said to never be happier than when staying there.

Queen leaves Balmoral for the final time

Read more: Live updates: Thousands to line the streets as Queen's coffin begins journey from Balmoral

Recalling his time with the Queen at the weekend, Dr Greenshields said: "She was in great form, really good spirits - obviously frail, you can see that, but absolutely on the ball.

"She was talking about her past, her love for Balmoral, her father, her mother, Prince Philip, horses, very much very engaged with what was happening in the church and what was happening in the nation too.

"This frail lady came in but there was still that sense of who she was and that real sense of making you feel immediately at ease, engaging with you immediately in conversation, a nice bright smile, everything you would expect of your monarch."

He added: "Her health was frail, we knew that, but when I left her on Sunday she was very positive and I just find it very hard to believe that in those few days things have changed so much."

They had dinner together on Saturday and lunch on Sunday - and even eerily brushed on the subject of afterlife.

And he said the Queen seemed to be delighted to be spending time at her beloved highland home.

Read more: Her final journey: Thousands line streets as Queen's coffin travels from Balmoral to Edinburgh

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