Margaret Rhodes, first cousin and close friend and confidante to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, told Chief International Correspondent for CNN, Christiane Amanpour, yesterday that she is “prepared to be excited” by the imminent birth of the first child of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Mrs Rhodes, the youngest daughter of the 16th Lord Elphinstone and his wife Mary Bowes-Lyon, a sister of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, stated that she hoped that the Royal baby will have “just a jolly, happy, ordinary child’s life”, much like that of Princess Elizabeth and her sister, Princess Margaret. “I mean, the king and queen in those days (King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) and made an enormous effort to give – to keep their childhood sort of sacrosanct”, she added. “It was just a time for learning and enjoying. And I think that they have succeeded awfully well.”
Mrs Rhodes was a frequent playmate of the young Princess Elizabeth. She was also a bridesmaid at the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip in 1947. She worked as a wartime operative for MI6 and lived at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace during the Second World War.
After the death of her husband, writer Denys Rhodes, Mrs Rhodes became Woman of the Bedchamber, which meant that she was both lady-in-waiting and companion to her aunt, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, from 1991 until The Queen Mother’s death in 2002. Later that year, she was appointed Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO) and currently lives in the Garden House in Windsor Great Park, which was given to her by The Queen in 1980.
Her autobiography, The Final Curtsey, was published in 2011.