Camilla's special friendship ritual she shared with Paul O'Grady as 'saddened' Queen shares moving statement after his death

Queen Camilla paid tribute to the late Paul O'Grady, touching on their 'laughter and memories'

Queen Camilla Paul O'Grady
(Image credit: Getty)

Queen Camilla, who shared a close bond with Paul O'Grady, has shared a moving tribute to the late star.

Paul O'Grady was well known for his love of animals, especially dogs, and this is something that bonded him and Queen Camilla.

Following the news of his death today, Queen Camilla has posted a tribute on the Royal Family's official Instagram page, which reads, "Deeply saddened to hear of the death of Paul O’Grady, who worked closely with Her Majesty in support of @Battersea, providing lots of laughter and many waggy-tailed memories."

Last year, the pair filmed a Christmas special of For the Love of Dogs, with Camilla hosting a garden party to celebrate Battersea’s 160th anniversary. She then joined Paul at their Brands Hatch site as they sought homes for the animals.

Opening up about his relationship with Queen Camilla, Paul described her as "a great laugh." He said, "Camilla’s a really funny woman. You can have a great laugh with her and you don’t feel like you’re on ceremony."

Queen Camilla and Paul O'Grady

(Image credit: Getty)

But one ritual the pair shared came as somewhat of a surprise, given the formal nature of most members of the Royal Family. Paul added, “I always get a big hug and kiss from her, too, which always shocks everybody."

He also described her as "a lovely lady who’s passionate about dogs," before adding of the Christmas special they filmed together, "There was a competition to see who’s dog would run straight to their owner ignoring the food, squeaky toys etc put in their way. The Duchess’s dog ran straight to her, ignoring the temptation put in her way."

Paul's husband, Andre Portasio, announced the sad news on Wednesday morning that the presenter had "unexpectedly but peacefully" passed away on Tuesday night.

The full statement read, "It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening. 

"He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion. I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years."

Queen Camilla and Paul O'Grady

(Image credit: Getty)

During his showbiz career, Paul - who rose to fame with his iconic drag queen persona Lily Savage - hosted The Paul O’Grady Show, Blind Date and Blankety Blank, as well as his most recent and much-loved ITV show, For The Love Of Dogs.

Celebrity tributes have flooded in, with stars including Kim Cattrall sharing their sadness following Paul's death.

"Our hearts are broken 💔 RIP Paul xo," the Sex and the City star simply penned.

Robyn is a celebrity and entertainment journalist and editor with over eight years experience in the industry. As well as contributing regular to woman&home, she also often writes for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Weekly and The Sun.