The Queen joins the bandwagon of breaking royal rules in honour of a dear friend, a long-serving housekeeper who has passed on.
The Queen is said to have been left “deeply upset” by the death of Annette Wilkin, who died suddenly after a short illness aged 72.
Ms Wilkin had served Windsor Castle for 45 years and was so loved by the Queen that she was given one of her famous royal corgis.
It is expected the Queen will break the royal rule keeping her from attending funeral services in order to honour her maid.
The Queen, by long-standing royal tradition, rarely attends funerals – often only those of close personal friends and family members – with personal representatives sent to pay respects in many other instances.
A royal insider told the Daily Mail : “We all called Annette the Queen because she had a regal air about her and a lovely cut-glass accent.”
“She was always immaculately dressed, fully in control of her job and kind to her staff,” the insider added.
“The Queen and all the royals absolutely adored her and she was almost part of the family.
“She never married but was devoted to her job and gave her life to the royal family.”
Ms Wilkin managed Windsor Castle for three terms, as well as Frogmore House, the Berkshire residence the Duke and Duchess of Sussex recently moved into.
Larch, the corgi given to Ms Wilkin by the 93-year-old head of state, would sit under her desk as she planned the day ahead, the insider said.
She reportedly resigned in 2014 but the Queen was so keen on keeping her in the household that she employed Ms Wilkins to assist her senior dresser Angela Kelly.
The Queen also gave Ms Wilkins a cottage at Windsor so the two could alway be close.