Queen Consort Camilla’s moving TV tribute to the woman who asked a nation to embrace her

The Queen Consort and the Princess of Wales during a lunch held for governors-general of the Commonwealth nations at Buckingham Palace in London. Picture date: Saturday September 17, 2022. Stefan Rousseau/Pool via REUTERS

The Queen Consort is to pay a personal televised tribute to the late Queen, recalling her “wonderful blue eyes” and saying: “I will always remember her smile.”

Camilla will speak of how Queen Elizabeth II carved out her own role for many years in the “difficult position” of being a “solitary woman” in a male-dominated world.

“I can’t remember anyone except the Queen being there,” the Queen Consort will add, being among the majority of the nation for whom, until now, the Queen was the only British monarch they had ever known or could recall.

The Queen Consort’s tribute to her mother-in-law is set to be aired on Sunday – the eve of the Queen’s state funeral – on the BBC, shortly before the national minute’s silence at 8pm.

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Camilla will say: “She’s been part of our lives forever. I’m 75 now, and I can’t remember anyone except the Queen being there.

“It must have been so difficult for her, being a solitary woman.

“There weren’t women prime ministers or presidents. She was the only one, so I think she carved her own role.”

EMBARGOED TO 2200 SATURDAY FEBRUARY 5 File photo dated 02/07/2014 of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duchess of Rothesay during a visit to Dumfries House in Cumnock. The Queen has used her Platinum Jubilee message to the nation to back the Duchess of Cornwall as Queen Camilla, shaping the future of the monarchy on her historic milestone. Issue date: Saturday February 5, 2022.
The Queen and now Queen Consort Camilla on a visit to Dumfries House in Cumnock together in 2014

Remembering the late monarch, Camilla will add: “She’s got those wonderful blue eyes, that when she smiles they light up her whole face.

“I will always remember her smile. That smile is unforgettable.”

On the eve of her Platinum Jubilee in February 2022, Queen Elizabeth endorsed the then Duchess of Cornwall as “Queen Consort” when the time came, saying it was her “sincere wish”.

She called on the public to back both her daughter-in-law and Charles when he became King.

It was a shrewd move from the monarch, in her twilight years, setting her affairs in order and ensuring as smooth a transition as possible.

It ended years of debate over what Camilla – Charles’s former mistress – would eventually be called.

Camilla was blamed for the breakdown of the prince’s marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales, and, when news of their affair first came to light, she faced vitriolic criticism.

King Charles III and the Queen Consort at Westminster Hall, London, where both Houses of Parliament are meeting to express their condolences following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Picture date: Monday September 12, 2022.
King Charles III and his Queen Consort at Westminster Hall, London, following the Queen’s death

But in the decades after the Waleses’s divorce, the untimely death of Diana in 1997 and Camilla’s acceptance into The Firm, the public mood towards the former Mrs Parker Bowles has softened.

Following her wedding to Charles in 2005, Camilla very gradually took on a more prominent position within the Royal Family, including riding next to the Queen in her Diamond Jubilee carriage procession in 2012.

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She also began to attend the state opening of parliament and was made a privy counsellor in 2016 ahead of the Queen’s official 90th birthday.

The Privy Council is a formal body of advisers to the UK Sovereign.

When addressed in full, she is now referred to as Her Majesty, Queen Consort Camilla, and is expected to be crowned Queen at the King’s coronation.

Watch and follow the Queen's funeral on TV, web and apps on Monday from 9am
Watch and follow the Queen’s funeral on TV, web and apps on Monday from 9am

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