Camilla, wife of the Britain’s new King Charles III and now Queen Consort, said the smile of the late Queen Elizabeth was “unforgettable,” in a message of tribute to the late monarch airing on Sunday.
“She’s been part of our lives forever. I’m 75 now and I can’t remember anyone except the Queen being there,” Camilla said of Elizabeth, who died on Sept. 8 at age 96.
“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,” she added in the tribute, which was recorded as part of a package in the last three months.
Charles has delivered a number of personal messages about his late mother, expressing how he would miss his “darling mama.”
“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,” Camilla said in the message, to be televised on BBC Sunday night before the nation’s minute of silence, scheduled at 8 p.m. (5 p.m. ET).
“They (Queen’s eyes) light up her whole face. I will always remember her smile. That smile is unforgettable,” she said.
Camilla, Charles’s second wife, has grown in popularity since she wed the new king back in 2005, having previously been blamed by the press and many Britons for causing the breakup of his first marriage to the late Princess Diana.
Her rehabilitation was complete when in February the Queen marked 70 years on the throne by giving her blessing to Camilla taking the title Queen Consort, saying it was her “sincere wish” that she did so.
In London, thousands of police, hundreds of troops and an army of officials made final preparations Sunday for the state funeral of the Queen — a spectacular display of national mourning that will also be the biggest gathering of world leaders for years.
Monday has been declared a public holiday, and the funeral will be broadcast to a huge television audience and screened to crowds in parks and public spaces across the country.
You can watch live coverage of the Queen’s funeral starting at 5 a.m. ET on Monday on CBC TV, CBC News Network, CBC Gem, CBCNews.ca and the CBC News app. At noon ET, the broadcast will turn to Ottawa for a national commemorative ceremony. CBC News Network will rebroadcast the funeral at 7 p.m. ET. CBC Radio One’s live funeral coverage will start at 5:30 a.m. ET, which will also be available on the CBC Listen app.
Thousands of police officers from around the country will be on duty as part of the biggest one-day policing operation in London’s history.
Queen met 13 U.S. presidents
U.S. President Joe Biden and other dignitaries have arrived in London for the funeral, to which around 500 royals, heads of state and heads of government from around the globe have been invited. Biden was expected to pay tribute at the Queen’s coffin on Sunday.
He was one of the 14 U.S. presidents of her reign, of which Elizabeth met all except Lyndon Johnson, starting with Harry Truman in 1951 when she was still a princess.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who was seen curtsying to the coffin, are among dignitaries who have already paid their respects at Westminster Hall, where the late Queen has been lying in state.
Trudeau met with Albanese on Sunday as part of a busy schedule in London before his Canadian delegation attends the Queen’s funeral. He also planned to meet with Britain’s newly installed Prime Minister Liz Truss.
Trudeau will then join Biden and other world leaders at an evening reception hosted by King Charles at Buckingham Palace. Trudeau will close out his day by meeting with the prime minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal.
Britain has hosted a series of poignant, carefully choreographed ceremonies in the 10 days that have followed Elizabeth’s death, reflecting the traditions and pageantry of the British royal family whose lineage stretches back almost 1,000 years.
Thousands of people continued to line up around the clock to file past the Queen’s coffin as it lies in state at Parliament’s Westminster Hall, braving chilly overnight temperatures and waits of up to 17 hours.
The Queen’s eight grandchildren, led by heir to the throne Prince William, circled the coffin and stood with heads bowed during a silent vigil on Saturday evening.
The kilometres-long queue for the public is expected to be closed to new arrivals later Sunday so that everyone in line can file past the coffin before Monday morning, when it will be borne on a gun carriage to Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s funeral.