The Honourable Margaret Rhodes, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, passed away on Friday night following a short illness, aged 91. She was a childhood friend and bridesmaid of the Queen, and the niece and lady-in-waiting of the Queen Mother. She lived in a house in Windsor Great Park, where the Queen visited her earlier this month.
The Hon. Margaret Rhodes, youngest daughter of Lord Elphinstone and Lady Mary Bowes-Lyon (a sister of the Queen Mother), wrote many stories about her links with Royalty in her autobiography ‘The Final Curtsy‘. She described her aristocratic childhood in Scotland, experiences of living at Buckingham Palace during WWII, and being a bridesmaid for the Queen in 1947. Margaret Rhodes also recounted stories of the royal family staying with her and her husband in Devon, and of being arrested on the Bhutan frontier with American Actress Shirley Maclaine. After being widowed in 1982, she continued to live Garden House, a residence in Windsor Great Park, given to the couple a few years earlier, and was appointed a lady-in-waiting to her aunt, the Queen Mother, in 1990, and was once described by the Queen Mother as her ‘third daughter‘. Margaret Rhodes was present at her aunt’s bedside when she dies in 2002, and was responsible for registering her death. She recounts that when asked: ‘Right, what was the husband’s occupation?’ It seemed a superfluous question. However, after a second’s hesitation, I answered: ‘King.’ I think Queen Elizabeth might have found that almost amusing.’ Margaret Rhodes continued to attend royal events, and frequently stayed with the Queen at Sandringham or Balmoral. The Queen continued to be a regular visitor at Mrs Rhodes’s home, most recently after she fell ill earlier this month.
UPDATE: The Queen and members of the Royal Family attended the Funeral of the Hon. Margaret Rhodes at the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Great Park on December 12th.
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