One of a handful of vicars to serve as the Queen's honourary chaplains in the UK has paid tribute to the Monarch following her death last week.

Reverend Pat Hawkins has served as honourary chaplain of the Queen for the last two years – one of only 36 in the country – and the role has officially ended following Her Majesty's passing on Thursday, September 8.

Rev Hawkins is now waiting to hear whether she will be able to continue in the role under King Charles III, and has now paid tribute the Queen Elizabeth.

She said: "It sounds very bizarre when someone is 96 but I was shocked.

"And I think for two reasons, one is simply that she had come on right to the very end.

"So although she looked ill in the photographs on Tuesday, there was no sense she was that ill.

"But also I think because at one level, she has always been there. So, I have never known anything other than a Queen."

Rev Hawkins spoke about the Queen as a figure for stability and having the ability to make members of the public feel special.

She explained: "I think she was obviously a figure of stability and continuity.

"And in a very positive way as we look at the fact that she did change. The role which she inhabited was very different in some ways when she died than when she came to the throne.

"But she was a consistent person within that. I also think she modelled something about belief in community, belief in society and belief in service of your neighbour.

"I was very fortunate, I did go to a garden party at Buckingham Palace this year.

"I came away and what I enjoyed most about it was there were 5,000 or 6,000 people there who were all being thanked for their role in the community.

"It was very clear the whole point was to make ordinary people feel special and I thought the Queen was so good at that."

Rev Hawkins spoke about her successor, Charles, understanding what he is taking on because of the years he spend as the Prince of Wales.

She added: "I think back to something the Queen said actually.

"One of the comments she made about her own coming to the throne was that she hadn't had an 'apprenticeship' because her father died so young.

"My prayers are for the new King who has a very hard act to follow, but has years of experience of understanding what he is taking on.

"I have every confidence that as we move into a new era, good things will unfold."