Why Queen Elizabeth’s official biography is in jeopardy

Everything the Royal Family has said about The Crown, from Harry's outburst to Anne's joke

 

One of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s closest royal aides has been entrusted with sorting through her royal papers, but an expert fears the documents may never see the light of day. Queen Elizabeth’s official biography remains under wraps, as the Palace has not yet revealed which historian will be granted the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pen the story of her life.

 

Why Queen Elizabeth's official biography is in jeopardy

But King Charles appears to be moving in the right direction as earlier this year he entrusted one of the late Queen’s most trusted aides with sorting through the former monarch’s personal papers and correspondence Paul Whybrew, nicknamed Tall Paul for his impressive height of 6ft4, served the late Queen for 44 years and was one of her most loyal members of staff. Though he has retired, he spends two days a week cataloguing the Queen’s handwritten diary and treasure trove of documents.

 

Why Queen Elizabeth's official biography is in jeopardy

Some of the files will be made public, others will be held by the King and the rest will be filed within the restricted archives at the Windsor Castle library. But Andrew Morton, author of the 1992 bombshell book Diana: Her True Story, fears that much of the Queen’s papers will never come to light. Speaking to the Scandal Mongers podcast, Mr Morton said he is “enormously” concerned that aides may be “burning the letters” – and warned that “an awful lot’” could be “disguised” and “camouflaged”. The author said this happened after Princess Diana died in 1997, where her mother Frances Shand Kydd and her sister Sarah burned much of her correspondence.

 

Why Queen Elizabeth's official biography is in jeopardy
Paul Whybrew is sorting through her personal documents

Chatting to fellow historians Andrew Lownie and Phil Craig, Mr Morton said: “We have two major biographies about to be commissioned. One on Prince Philip and one on Her Majesty The Queen. “Who will be chosen? Don’t know. Who’s going through the archives? Well apparently it’s the Queen’s footman, Paul Whybrew, Tall Paul. “It does concern me enormously, are they going to be burning the letters like Princess Margaret did with the Queen Mother’s correspondence.

 

Why Queen Elizabeth's official biography is in jeopardy

“Like the Spencer family did. Like Sarah McCorquodale and Frances Shand Kydd did with Diana’s correspondence. They even burnt the ink jotters that she had.” Mr Morton also questioned whether the Royal Family should be allowed to control access to the late Queen’s documents and described the privacy response as a “seductive argument”. He added: “The quicker the Queen biography is commissioned the better because the people who were her friends are all dying. It’s as simple as that.” It comes after royal biographer Andrew Lownie was blocked from finding out if Scotland Yard ever investigated Virginia Giuffre’s allegations against Prince Andrew.

The Met replied: “We cannot confirm or deny whether information is held in relation to any allegations from this individual.” Andrew has repeatedly and vehemently denied the allegations and settled her civil claim with no admission of liability, but Mr Lownie wants to know if the police investigated the allegations.

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