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Camilla remembers Queen’s humour in televised tribute

The Queen Consort has remembered her mother-in-law as a woman passionate about family and her horses with a wonderful sense of humour.

September 19, 2022
By Tony Jones
19 September 2022

The Queen Consort has shared a personal memory of the Queen who saw the funny side of a shoe mishap on Camilla’s wedding day.

Speaking in a televised tribute to the late monarch, Camilla also described the Queen’s “wonderful blue eyes” but also how her gaze could be a little withering if you “dare question” her equestrian knowledge.

The Queen Consort, who had known the monarch for decades, said the Queen had a clear demarcation between her public duties and private life and her summer breaks at Balmoral in Scotland were a moment for “her enjoyment”.

Her tribute to her mother-in-law was aired on Sunday – the eve of the Queen’s state funeral – on the BBC, shortly before the national minute’s silence at 8pm local time.

Queen Elizabeth with Charles and Camilla on their wedding day. (AP Photo/ Alastair Grant, Pool, File)

Speaking about her wedding day on 9 April 2005, the Queen Consort said: “I remember coming from here, Clarence House, (to) go to Windsor the day I got married when I probably wasn’t firing on all cylinders, quite nervous and, for some unknown reason, I put on a pair of shoes and one had an inch heel and one had a two-inch heel.

“So, I mean talk about hop-a-long and there’s nothing I could do. I was halfway down in the car before I realised and you know, she – she could see and laughed about it and said, ‘look I’m terribly sorry’ and she did, you know, she had a good sense of humour.”

The late monarch was never happier than when visiting her thoroughbreds at the royal stud or watching them race and Camilla commented on her “passion for racing”.

The Queen Consort said: “She was able to escape to Sandringham. She had the stud next door. She could go every day, see her foals, work out you know, the next meetings for the year. I think she always kept that as you know, her, her private bit.

Camilla and the Queen on a visit to the Ebony Horse Club and Community Riding Centre in London.(Heathcliff O’Malley/Daily Telegraph/PA)

“You wouldn’t dare question her or argue with her on how horse are bred or how it ran because you’d get a very steely blue-eyed look back again.”

The Queen died at Balmoral, her private Scottish estate, where she would relax and enjoy the Highland landscape and the company of the local residents who saw her as a neighbour and respected her privacy.

Camilla said: “She made a rule that she had her private time and her private passions and then her public role and I think that is very important that, you know, the diary is planned out so you know when you’re on duty.

“Then when she went up to Scotland in August, you know that was the moment where it was her enjoyment.

“Although she was probably working, you know with her red boxes throughout, she could have her family to stay, she could do the things she loved.”

Camilla, in pre-recorded words, also spoke about the Queen’s “unforgettable” smile.

“She’s got those wonderful blue eyes that when she smiles, you know, they light up her whole face. I’ll always remember that smile, you know, that smile is unforgettable,” she said.

The Queen delivered a masterstroke on the eve of her Platinum Jubilee in February 2022 when she endorsed the then-Duchess of Cornwall to be known as Queen Consort when the time came.

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.

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