The Queen's private family 'despair' revealed

According to a royal family biographer, the Queen was "deeply" upset that three out of four of her children's marriages ended in divorce.

"Outwardly stoical, as ever, the Queen was finding the divorce talks deeply upsetting," Robert Hardman wrote in his book, Queen of Our Times: The Life of Queen Elizabeth II, reports People.

"Another former member of the Household recalls that every now and then, there would be a glimpse of her despair."

Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne all divorced, leaving her youngest son, Prince Edward as the only child to stay married.

Prince Edward has been married to Sophie, Countess of Wessex since 1999.

According to Hardman, a former palace staffer disclosed that the Queen was "distressed" about the situation and her children's unhappiness in their marriages.

"I said, 'Ma'am, it seems to be happening everywhere. This is almost common practice,'" the former staffer recalled, adding, "But she just said, 'Three out of four!' in sheer sadness and exasperation. One shouldn't underestimate the pain she's been through."

But the Queen always kept her cool, with her former press secretary Charles Anson revealing that even in 1992 when the marriages of Charles, Andrew and Anne all came tumbling down, she remained composed.

Source / Getty Images

When it came to Charles and Diana's very public drama, according to Hardman staff were reportedly impressed how well she handled the scandal.

"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," Hardman wrote.

He added, "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."

Charles and the late Diana divorced in 1996 after 15 years of marriage amid his cheating scandal with Camilla Parker Bowles, whom he married in 2005.

This story was originally published on the NZ Herald and republished here with permission.