The Queen Consort is to pay a televised tribute to the Queen on Sunday, praising her for carving out her own role for many years while being in the “difficult position” of being a “solitary woman” in a male-dominated world.
In prerecorded words, she will also recall the late monarch’s “wonderful blue eyes” and say: “I will always remember her smile.”
The Queen Consort’s tribute to her mother-in-law is to be broadcast shortly before the national minute’s silence at 8pm.
Camilla will say: “She’s been part of our lives for ever. 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.”
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.”
Two of the Queen’s granddaughters, Beatrice and Eugenie, also paid their own tribute to their grandmother prior to participating in a vigil ceremony with her six other grandchildren, keeping watch over her coffin in Westminster Hall.
The sisters, who are the daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, said there had been “tears and laughter, silences and chatter, hugs and loneliness, and a collective loss for you, our beloved Queen and our beloved grannie”.
Their statement said: “We’ve not been able to put much into words since you left us all. We, like many, thought you’d be here for ever. And we all miss you terribly.
“You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our backs leading us through this world. You taught us so much and we will cherish those lessons and memories for ever.
“For now dear grannie, all we want to say is thank you.”
Agencies contributed to this report