"I've lost a very, very darling friend," he said. "I am sad. She will be greatly missed."
But friends of the couple, who observed them at close quarters when they spent time at her house on Mustique, recall the burdens and humiliations that went with being a royal consort.
"When she went on to the public beach Roddy was required to follow her - always walking behind, not alongside - carrying a bucket of water," says one of Mustique's old hands. "At the end of the afternoon, when she reached the edge of the beach he was then required to wash her feet.
"And when they had dinner on the terrace at Les Jolies Eaux, she insisted that he sat down with all the other guests and wait until she was ready to make an appearance. No one was allowed to have any food or drink until she sat down and as she was quite capable of turning up an hour late, that was no joke."
FORMER tennis champion Boris Becker has made his cinematic debut in a German blockbuster starring Claudia Schiffer.
Bonking Boris may only have a bit part but the film's title has particular resonance for the man who had pay out pounds 2million after a quickie with a model in a broom cupboard left her pregnant. It's called, 666 Don't Trust Anyone You Sleep With.
TRANSPORT Secretary Stephen Byers might not have made many friends with his decision to push ahead with plans to partly privatise the London Underground, but at least people turn up to hear him doing it.
The same can't be said for his critics. When Theresa May, Tory shadow transport secretary, and her eccentric sidekick Eric Pickles decided to call a press conference to condemn the Tube plan, they booked themselves a room in the House of Commons for all the eager hacks they expected to turn up.
They needn't have bothered - the gruesome twosome ended up outnumbering their audience - only one reporter turned up. "I suppose that makes it a scoop,'' the hack said glumly.
Word is that the Tories have booked a telephone box for their next press conference.
CONGRATULATIONS to Bill Coles, the former husband of Anna Pasternak, the author of Princess in Love, a syrupy but scandalous account of the affair between Princess Di and James Hewitt.
His girlfriend Margot is expecting a child, and Coles has already put his mind to what it should be called.
He is telling friends: "We thought it would be nice if we combined our names so we're thinking of calling it Bigot."
FORMER Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, who was jailed for running a call-girls-to-the-stars racket in the Naughty 90s, is "very happy" with her new boyfriend, Black Hawk Down actor Tom Sizemore.
"He's just bought her a $185,000 Porsche," sighs an envious chum.
FOLLOWING the news that David Beckham was to bring out his own smoky Beckham flavour crisps, I speculated that Leeds thug Jonathan Woodgate could launch a Ready Assaulted crisps. But Rob Dawkins writes from Birmingham to predict that we won't see anything similar from Arsenal goalie David Seaman.
ROLE: Boris; MOTOR: Heidi