The British newspaper reports that the Queen visited Rhodes earlier in November at her home in Windsor, Berkshire, when she fell ill.
A source close to the royal family told the Sunday Express, “The Queen will be devastated to have lost her best friend. She grew up with Mrs Rhodes and they had so much shared history.”
The insider continued, “They remained close throughout the Queen’s reign and Her Majesty continued to be a regular visitor at Mrs Rhodes’s Windsor home until very recently.”
Rhodes was the youngest daughter of Lady Mary Bowes-Lyon – sister to Elizabeth’s mother – and Lord Sidney Elphinstone. She and the Queen were very close growing up, as they were born only 10 months apart.
She went on to be one of the eight bridesmaids at Elizabeth’s 1947 wedding to Prince Philip and was present at her Coronation in 1953.
The duo remained close throughout their lives. They would often get together when the Queen was in Windsor after church on Sundays, the Sunday Express reports. Rhodes has also appeared in numerous documentaries about Queen Elizabeth’s life.
Rhodes had four children with husband Denys Gravenor Rhodes, who passed away in 1981.