Queen Elizabeth Sent Her Former Lady-in-Waiting an Unexpected Note After Prince Philip’s Death

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Queen Elizabeth and Lady Pamela

Queen Elizabeth’s former lady-in-waiting Lady Pamela Hicks is reflecting on being witness to history.

A first cousin of Prince Philip, Pamela, 92, was a bridesmaid when Elizabeth wed Philip in 1947. When the young princess acceded to the throne in 1952, Pamela was at her side. And as Elizabeth took her first steps as monarch, she depended on Pamela for her friendship and support.

Now, her daughter India Hicks, who was a bridesmaid at Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s royal wedding in 1981, is teasing out her mother’s extraordinary anecdotes in the new issue of PEOPLE Royals.

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“I rather remember [Elizabeth] was cool as a cucumber as always at her wedding—just there, and the whole world going mad around her,” Pamela says.

The Royals

The Royals

Queen Elizabeth and Lady Pamela Hicks

For more on Lady Pamela Hicks, you can find the spring issue of PEOPLE Royals on newsstands now or subscribe at peopleroyals.com/launch.

Lady Pamela was a lady-in-waiting for the then-Princess Elizabeth on tour in Kenya when the news came that Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, had died on Feb. 6, 1952 — making Elizabeth, age 25, the new Queen.

“I remember going and hugging her. And then thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, She’s Queen’ — and going into a deep curtsy,” Pamela says in a conversation with her daughter in PEOPLE Royals.

Lady Pamela and India Hicks

Lady Pamela and India Hicks

Jillian Edelstein Lady Pamela Hicks and India Hicks

She also recalled the touching letter she received from the Queen, 95, after the death of the monarch’s beloved husband last year after 73 years of marriage.

“One thing that was moving: When you wrote to [Elizabeth] after Prince Philip’s death, she wrote back to you, saying, ‘Of course, you have known him longer than I,’ ” India recalls.

“Yes, she is doing fine,” Pamela adds. “She wrote and thanked me for her Christmas present. She remarked on her enormous extended family but said because of coronavirus, of course, they were a much-reduced but still large family party for Christmas.”

People Royals Spring issue

People Royals Spring issue

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And when it comes to the Queen’s legacy, Pamela says the record-breaking monarch will be remembered for her commitment to “duty, steadfastness and interest in people. Kate and William have got it too.”

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