The Queen is this weekend mourning her cousin and close friend Margaret Rhodes, who passed away on Friday night following a short illness.
The news was announced early this morning that the 91-year-old had died.
Saddened to learn of the passing of The Hon. Margaret Rhodes, LVO. A lady I had the honour of meeting. pic.twitter.com/WXwvZJKGNF
— Andrew Steed (@andrewsteed88) November 27, 2016
Mrs Rhodes had grown up with the then-Princess Elizabeth, and appeared in many documentaries on the Royal Family as someone close to Her Majesty; it is also thought The Queen approved her giving interviews.
The two women were related through the Bowes-Lyon family, as their mothers were sisters, Elizabeth (later The Queen Mother) and Mary.
It is understood that The Queen visited Margaret at her home in Windsor earlier this month when she first fell ill. The pair retained a close relationship throughout their lives, and it is thought they would take tea together each Sunday after church when The Queen was at Windsor.
Her Majesty best friend, & cousin Hon Margaret Rhodes LVO died on Friday Our thoughts and prayers are with Her Majesty at this sad time. pic.twitter.com/SFPnRuhxmA
— Gordon Harrold (@ThePalaceButler) November 27, 2016
Margaret and Elizabeth were only 10 months apart in age, and spent much of their childhood together. When Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret were moved to Windsor Castle during WWII, Mrs Rhodes lived alongside the Royal Family. She also worked as a secretary for MI6.
In 1947, Mrs Rhodes was one of the eight bridesmaids at the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Margaret was appointed a Woman of the Bedchamber in 1991, a role that is a Lady-in-Waiting and companion, for her aunt the Queen Mother until her death in 2002.
After The Queen Mother’s death, she wrote a book entitled ‘The Final Curtsey’, which The Queen approved, detailing her own life and her experiences with the Royal Family.
Most recently, Margaret appeared in documentaries for The Queen’s 90th birthday, and has defended The Queen after some suggested she may or should abdicate due to her age.
Mrs Rhodes is succeeded by her four children, having been widowed in 1981. Our thoughts are with The Queen and the Rhodes family at this sad time.