Royal Family

Queen ‘happy playing cards alone’ during social engagements, says Theresa May

Queen Elizabeth II would “happily” play cards alone while guests mingled at Balmoral, Theresa May has said.

The former prime minister said that the Queen did not make herself the centre of attention during gatherings at the royal Scottish residence.

Speaking to ITV’s Lorraine, Ms May said that the former monarch wanted to be “a good hostess” who “wanted her guests to really feel at home, to enjoy the surroundings as much as she did and be able to relax”.

She said: “There would be occasions when, perhaps, everybody – guests – were milling around, perhaps chatting to each other, and the Queen was quite happy to sit in the room playing patience.

“She didn’t feel the need for everybody to be paying attention to her all the time.”

The MP for Maidenhead added that the Queen was “the most remarkable person” and an “example of devotion to duty”.

She expressed her fear that the sense of duty embodied by the Queen may be slipping away from public life.

“I think maybe there is a slight loss of that sense of duty,” she continued.

“It becomes, for a lot of people, more about them rather than about other people and how they should be… working for other people.”

She added: “The late Queen Elizabeth was an example of devotion to duty par excellence.”

“I doubt we will see her like again.”

Her comments come as tens of thousands lined the streets and queued for hours to pay their respects to the late Queen.

Mourners stood through the night to see the late monarch’s coffin in St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh before the coffin is flown to London on Tuesday evening.

Members of the public have already begin queuing to view the Queen’s lying in state at Westminster Hall, which opens on Wednesday.

A state funeral will take place on Monday 19 September, with King Charles III declaring the day to be a bank holiday across the UK.

Follow the latest updates as the world pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

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