Buckingham Palace confirmed today that Margaret Rhodes, who has been close friends with the Queen since childhood, passed away on Friday night following a short illness.
Mrs Rhodes has appeared in a number of documentaries about the Queen, and The Queen Mother previously called her “her third daughter.”
An royal insider told the Sunday Express: “The Queen will be devastated to have lost her best friend.
“She grew up with Mrs Rhodes and they had so much shared history.
“They remained close throughout the Queen’s reign and Her Majesty continued to be a regular visitor at Mrs Rhodes’s Windsor home until very recently.”
Mrs Rhodes previously told the BBC that the monarch wouldn’t be retiring – despite rumours saying otherwise.
She said, ahead of the Queen’s 90th birthday: “Her total dedication is something we should all be grateful for.”
The source continued: “One of the disadvantages of the Queen having such a long life is that she has had to say goodbye to so many dear friends and relatives.
“It is such a sad loss for Her Majesty, Mrs Rhodes’s family and everyone in the royal household. She was an extraordinary woman.”
Margaret was the first cousin of Elizabeth II, and the youngest daughter of Lady Mary Bowes-Lyon.
Lady Bowes-Lyon was the sister of the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth.
During the war, Margaret reportedly worked as a secretary for MI6.
She later was asked to be one of the Queen’s bridesmaids at her wedding to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947.
Following this, she served as a lady-in-waiting for the Queen Mother for ten years.
She was beside her when she died back in 2002, aged 101.
The Monarch’s cousin is is survived by two daughters, Victoria and Annabel, and two sons Simon and Michael.
Our thoughts go out to Margaret’s family and friends at this time.