The Queen Consort was left “very moved” after visiting a new memorial space dedicated to the late Queen during a ceremony to commemorate the nation’s war dead.
Camilla viewed the temporary plot created for the nation to leave floral and other tributes to the late monarch after she had recognised the sacrifices of those who fought and died for their country.
In Westminster Abbey’s Field of Remembrance, she placed a tiny wooden cross adorned with a red poppy into a larger cross made from the flowers forever associated with the First World War.
Surgeon Rear Admiral Lionel Jarvis, president of the Poppy Factory which organises all the memorial plots at the Abbey, joined Camilla as she viewed the site dedicated to the Elizabeth II’s memory to the north of St Margaret’s Church, close to the Abbey.
He said afterwards: “The Queen Consort was very moved and thought it was a lovely touch and said she was looking forward to seeing it filled with flowers.”
The late Queen’s memorial plot featured two archive images of the monarch visiting the Field of Remembrance in the late 1940s, when Princess Elizabeth, and the other around 50 years later.
Mr Jarvis added: “Queen Elizabeth II did service in the Second World War, she herself was a veteran and it’s poignant to remember her service as head of the Armed Forces throughout her reign, and there is no better place to remember her.”
The late Queen undertook National Service, joining the Auxiliary Transport Service on February 24 1945, and was registered as No 230873 Second Subaltern Elizabeth Windsor, and later promoted to Junior Commander when she qualified as a driver in April that year.
From just two crosses, laid during the first event at the Abbey in November 1928, the Field of Remembrance is now covered with around 70,000 symbols in more than 300 plots for regimental and other associations.
Before touring the site, the Queen Consort and hundreds of veterans fell silent at 11am as the chimes of Big Ben rang out.
The sombre mood lightened as Camilla chatted to the veterans quizzing them about the plots they represented and sharing a joke.
Chelsea pensioner Peter Fullelove, 89, who served with Black Watch, had met the Queen Consort before at previous Field of Remembrance events.
He said: “She said to me ‘I remember you’ and I was a bit cheeky and asked her ‘how’s your new job going’ and she said ‘It’s fine’.”
The Queen Consort stopped to talk to Jeff Borsack, who was orphaned aged three during the Second World War when his parents were killed by a bomb that hit an air raid shelter while he was being treated in hospital for measles.
He has been campaigning for a national memorial to commemorate civilians killed by enemy action and said Camilla was “very sympathetic“ to his campaign and he had been in contact with her office.
Recalling the circumstances of his parents’ death, Mr Borsack, 85, said: “Well, my mother took me out of London to Birmingham because she thought I’d be safer, and my father had not long been called up and was on his first leave, when he came to see if we will right.
“There were very bad raids in Birmingham.”
Veteran Peter Topley represented The Memorable Order of Tin Hats, an ex-servicemen and women organisation founded in Durban, South Africa in 1927.
After speaking to Camilla, he said about the Queen’s memorial plot: “It’s a very good idea, I would’ve been upset if they hadn’t done something.”
Mr Tilley, who served as a corporal with the Royal Corps of Transport, added: “Although we now have the Queen Consort, we still remember the Queen – I swore my allegiance to the Queen in 1968, you can’t say more than that.”