Queen Elizabeth II had a near meltdown when her son and the heir apparent, Prince Charles, was targeted by terrorists while carrying out his royal duties in Wales. The monarch was so devastated and fortunately, escaped the bombing.
Queen Elizabeth Almost Lost Her Cool When She Learned About Princ Charles Being In Danger
Just like any mother, the Queen, was shocked and nearly broke down when she learned the news that the terrorists attempted to target Prince Charles in Wales. Robert Hardman mentioned the incident in his new book Queen of Our Times to mark Her Majesty's 70th anniversary on the throne.
Jane Ridley talked about the incident as she reviewed Hardman's book for the Daily Telegraph.
"Prince Charles’s investiture at Caernarfon was a modern take on royal ceremonial designed by Snowdon, but it became a target for terrorist Welsh nationalists, and Prince Charles was lucky to escape a bomb," she wrote per Express. "Hardman reveals how shattering this was for the Queen. For the first time, she cancelled her engagements and came close to breakdown."
It was one of the few instances when the Queen almost lost her cool. The 95-year-old has gone through a lot of things, including three divorces from her children. However, according to Hardman (via People), her "default mode in the face of a crisis is stillness."
The monarch reportedly inherited the character from her father King George VI's example. Also, according to Sir John Major, who worked with the Queen during her worst year or "annus horribilis," the monarch lived by the doctrine that "This too shall pass."
Queen Elizabeth Regretted Delaying Visit To Aberfan
John Jenkins, a former sergeant with the Army's Dental Corp, was reportedly the one behind the masterplan of bombing Prince Charles' ceremony in Wales. He reportedly became involved in the plan of bombing Prince Charles' investiture the night before the royal was due to arrive.
The device exploded and killed two members of the MAC in Abergele. Two more bombs were planted the following day in Caernarfon. One exploded in a police constable's garden and another was planted near the castle but did not go off until it was found by a 10-year-old boy leaving the latter seriously injured.
Jenkins was a "fierce principle who suffered much for a cause he believed in, and for a country, he loved dearly," according to Dr. Wyn Thomas who wrote his biography. He was radicalized by the drowning of Tryweryn and the Aberfan disaster, which was among the Queen's biggest regrets during her reign.
According to Penny Junor's 2005 book The Firm, the incident killed 116 children and 28 adults following the collapse of a colliery spoil tip. The Queen delayed her visit for fear that her presence would distract the rescue efforts. However, her husband, Prince Philip, visited the site the following day.
"The Queen is said to regret her delay in visiting Aberfan in 1966, recognising in hindsight that it was a mistake not to be there immediately to comfort the grieving and express her sorrow," Junor wrote. "I suspect she regrets her instincts during that week after Diana’s death, too."
Queen Elizabeth II waited for eight days before she visited Aberfan to tour the site and talk with the victims. According to The Crown, Prime Minister Harold Wilson chastised the Queen for her decision due to the photos of the Queen with solemn expression during the visit.
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