Ex G-G Bryce says Queen's life 'uplifting'

·2-min read

Former governor-general Quentin Bryce has remembered Queen Elizabeth II's "dedication to duty" and "values that shone" after a lifelong relationship with her.

Dame Quentin got to know the late Queen more intimately than most after serving as her official representative in Australia from 2008-2014 and as Governor of Queensland from 2003 to 2008.

"It's a very sad day, but it's one that's uplifting when we reflect on her life," Dame Quentin told ABC Radio on Friday.

Those 70 years of dedication to duty and commitment to service, and the values that shone, and the esteem, the admiration, respect and affection in which she is held in this country, and in so many places around the world."

The 79-year-old said as a girl she followed all the princesses, and the Queen's wedding and coronation.

She said as a 10-year-old it was "like a fairy tale" seeing the young monarch drive past her in Brisbane in 1954.

"The thrill of seeing the Queen coming down from Government House where she and Prince Philip were staying," Dame Quentin said.

"And she was on her way to the Royal Ball at the City Hall with the car lit up, and the glorious tiara and sparkling diamonds and this incredibly beautiful gown."

Almost 50 years later, Dame Quentin found herself nervously face-to-face with the Queen having tea at Buckingham Palace before being sworn in as Queensland Governor.

"It was a pretty formal meeting," she said.

"But yes, of course, one I would never have imagined would happen in my life, and one I'll never forget. But it was the way she was putting us at ease."

She later stayed with the Queen at Balmoral, and hosted her at Yarralumla in Canberra, where the monarch liked to take in the views of the Brindabella Range.

But on the Queen's final Australian tour in 2011, Dame Quentin remembered feeling it could be her last visit.

"At that time there was the sense, nobody spoke the words, but the sense that it was probably the last time we would see the Queen in Australia," she said.

"It was just that just that feeling."