For many Britons, Queen Elizabeth II was a grandmother figure in their lives – but what was the Queen actually like as a mother-in-law? Sharing a special tribute to Her Majesty after the news of her passing was announced yesterday, Sarah Ferguson, who was previously married to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip's son, Prince Andrew, has shared an insight into the special relationship she and the monarch shared.
Posting on both her Instagram and Twitter accounts, Sarah, Duchess of York, said she is 'heartbroken' following the loss of her two daughters' grandmother (she and Prince Andrew welcomed Princess Beatrice in 1988 and Princess Eugenie in 1990).
Sharing her sentiments, the Duchess wrote, "I am heartbroken by the passing of Her Majesty the Queen. She leaves behind an extraordinary legacy: the most fantastic example of duty and service and steadfastness, and a constant steadying presence as our head of state for more than 70 years."
I am heartbroken by the passing of Her Majesty the Queen. She leaves behind an extraordinary legacy: the most fantastic example of duty and service and steadfastness, and a constant steadying presence as our head of state for more than 70 years. pic.twitter.com/3X6Lpy98lr
— Sarah Ferguson (@SarahTheDuchess) September 8, 2022
She added that even following her divorce from the Duke of York in May of 1996, the Queen was still a friendly face to her and embraced her as a friend and family member.
Sarah also expressed her admiration for Her Majesty's sense of duty, "She has given her whole life selflessly to the people of the UK & the Commonwealth. To me, she was the most incredible mother-in-law and friend. I will always be grateful to her for the generosity she showed me in remaining close to me even after my divorce. I will miss her more than words can express."
With regards to the Queen's other children's partners, and her role as their mother-in-law, it is widely known that she and Prince Edward's wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Camilla, the new Queen Consort, share close bonds and have regularly been pictured at engagements and outings over the past few decades.
Such was Her Majesty's trust in her children's partners that she even had Sophie Wessex stand in at a birthday party being held in the Queen's honour in Lebanon. When delivering a speech to those in attendance, the Countess said she wished to share a special message from Her Majesty too, which was "I am delighted that my daughter-in-law is with you this evening ... Prince Philip and I send our warmest good wishes to the people of Lebanon, and to all those attending this evening’s reception".
Although it's hardly a secret that Diana, Princess of Wales, shared a complex (and at times turbulent) relationship with the Royal Family - and not least with her husband, the then-Prince Charles, it appears that her and Queen Elizabeth II always had feelings of mutual respect towards one another.
In Diana: Her True Story by Andrew Morton, a biography that Diana herself assisted in the writing of, it's said that Princess Diana had many chats with the monarch behind closed doors and perhaps found her to be "a rather unlikely ally at the palace [...] whose understanding and helpful attitude did much to encourage Diana to soldier on".
As for the Queen and Camilla's bond, it's no doubt a close one given that prior to Her Majesty's death, she made it known on a public level of her desire for King Charles III's second wife to be accepted and acknowledged as Queen Consort.
"When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me, and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service," Her Majesty said in a statement, praising Camilla for her efforts in keeping the monarchy moving forward.
Our thoughts are with all of the royals and Her Majesty's loved ones during this sad time.
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