The Queen is said to be saddened by the death of her “best friend” and cousin, the Honourable Margaret Rhodes, aged 91.
Mrs Rhodes passed away on Friday, 25 November 2016, following a short illness.
According to a source, the Queen visited Mrs Rhodes at her Windsor home when she was ill earlier this month.
They would take tea together every Sunday after church when the Queen was in Windsor.
The Queen and Mrs Rhodes grew up together and they have so much shared history, as they were only ten months apart in age.
They were regular playmates, riding hill ponies and having picnics during summer holidays in Balmoral.
Mrs Rhodes was one of the Queen’s eight bridesmaids at her wedding to Prince Philip in 1947, and she was also present at the Queen’s Coronation in 1953.
Mrs Rhodes married the writer Denys Gravenor Rhodes in 1950. Princess Margaret was one of the bridesmaids.
They lived in Devon and raised their four children, two boys and two girls.
The Queen offered the Garden House in Windsor Great Park to the couple when Mr Rhodes was diagnosed with cancer, so they were closer to London for treatment.
Mr Rhodes passed away in 1981 and his widow remained there. Mrs Rhodes described the gesture as the Queen’s “many, many kindnesses.”
In 1991, Mrs Rhodes became Woman of the Bedchamber, which was lady-in-waiting and companion, to her aunt, the Queen Mother until her death in 2002.
Mrs Rhodes was born Margaret Elphinstone at Westminster on 9 June in 1925. She was the youngest daughter of the Queen Mother’s sister, Mary Bowes-Lyon, and her husband Sidney Elphinstone, the 16th Lord Elphinstone.
She had frequently appeared in documentaries about the Queen’s life, all of which Her Majesty had given approval. The Queen never grants interviews to anyone.
Her autobiography, The Final Curtsey, was published in 2011, provides a fascinating insight into her relationship with Britain’s Royal Family.