The Queen had OCD and arranged things to make her ‘feel safe’, book claims

The Queen suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) as a child and arranged her things to make her “feel safe”, a new book claims.

Her Majesty, 94, put her pencils into straight, equally spaced lines, according to late Royal Family teacher Marion Crawford.

She also did the same with her lunch plates, The Sun reports.

Author Wendy Holden writes in The Governess: “Marion, whose training encompassed child psychology, now realised she was looking at obsessive compulsion.

“This cosseted, regularised environment was the very last place she had expected to find it.

‘Why do you do that?’ she asked Elizabeth.

“The princess looked up, staring at her with candid blue eyes.

‘Because it makes me feel safe.’ ‘Safe?’ echoed Marion. ‘Safe from what?’”

The Queen’s mum then walked in and she never got to answer.

The Governess, released last month, focuses on Crawford when her pupil was a young princess.

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She wrote about the Queen’s habit in her own book The Little Princesses, published in 1950.

Crawford referred to Her Majesty as “Lilibet”, as she couldn’t say Elizabeth growing up.

One section reads: “At one time I got quite anxious about Lilibet and her fads.

“She became almost too methodical and tidy. She would hop out of bed several times a night to get her shoes quite straight and her clothes arranged just so.”

Those who suffer from OCD experience frequent obsessive thoughts and carry out compulsive behaviours.

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The NHS recommends two main ways to get help:

  • Refer yourself directly to a psychological therapies service – find a psychological therapies service in your area
  • See a GP – they'll ask about your symptoms and can refer you to a local psychological therapies service if necessary

The following websites also offer support:

  • OCD Action
  • OCD-UK
  • TOP UK
  • HealthUnlocked OCD forum

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