Princess Eugenie has paid a moving personal tribute to her “grannie” the Queen on the eve of the monarch’s historic Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Eugenie, writing in The Spectator magazine, said she hoped her one-year-old son August would grow to have the Queen’s “patience, her calmness and her kindness while always being able to laugh at himself and keep a twinkle in his eye”.
She described the nation’s longest-reigning monarch as having transcended time and been “a constant rock for so many”.
Reflecting on her “own special little family” with the arrival of August, who was born in February last year, Eugenie said: “I think of my grannie and what she has stood for, for so many people and for our family during these 70 years.
“I’d love Augie to have her patience, her calmness and her kindness, while always being able to laugh at himself and keep a twinkle in his eye.”
In the piece entitled “My pride in Grannie”, the princess said: “Seventy years is really quite something, isn’t it?
“The Jubilee stands as a testimony to a woman who has transcended time and has been that constant rock for so many when the world can feel so fragile.”
Of the Queen’s “We meet again” televised address in lockdown during the pandemic, Eugenie said the message connected the nation in the belief that everything would be OK once again.
She recalled seeing the Queen and her “grandpa” the Duke of Edinburgh standing, waving and smiling for eight hours in the rain during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012, “keeping the family and the nation moving forward” as they had done for decades.
The Queen is the first British monarch in history to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee.
Millions across the country are gearing up to take to the streets for parties and national commemorations held in in her honour during the special extended bank holiday weekend.
The Queen, who at the age of 96 has mobility problems, returned to her Windsor Castle home with her dogs on Tuesday after a pre-Jubilee a break at Balmoral as she paces herself ahead of the four days of festivities.
Her flight back to London was forced to abort a landing when her 13-seater plane was caught in lightning storm.
The commemorations kick-start with the traditional Trooping the Colour military spectacle on Thursday, involving more than 1,500 officers and soldiers and 350 horses from the Household Division.
But the Queen’s attendance is only likely to be confirmed on the morning, with royal fans hoping to see her appear on the balcony with her family for a special flypast, and possibly even review the troops.
In the evening, more than 3,000 beacons will be set ablaze across the UK and the Commonwealth in tribute to the Queen, with the principal Tree of Trees beacon illuminated outside the Palace.
There will be no ceremonial journey to the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral for the Queen on Friday June 3, and the monarch, if she attends, will use a different entrance rather than scaling the steep steps.
And the Queen’s planned visit to Epsom for the Derby on Saturday is off, with members of the royal family attending on her behalf.
Saturday is also the first birthday of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s daughter Lilibet, amid speculation the Queen will get to meet her namesake for the first time and possibly attend her christening when Harry and Meghan fly back for the Jubilee.
In the evening, the BBC’s Party at the Palace – set on three stages in front of Buckingham Palace – will entertain a live crowd of 22,000 people and a television audience of millions.
The line-up includes Diana Ross, Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Nile Rodgers, Andrea Bocelli, Duran Duran, Bond composer Hans Zimmer, Ella Eyre, Craig David, Mabel, Elbow and George Ezra.
Charles and William are preparing to deliver public tributes at the concert to the Queen, who is due to be watching on television from Windsor.
On Sunday, millions will gather for patriotic street parties, picnics and barbecues, with more than 85,000 Big Jubilee Lunches being held across the UK.
The finale is the Jubilee Pageant through the streets of London, with a cast of 6,000 performers and close to 200 celebrities joining the carnival procession.
It is hoped the monarch will make a final appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony to round off the weekend to see Ed Sheeran singing the national anthem with a choir made up of Britain’s “national treasures”.