Heartbreak for the Queen as she loses close family friend

Samuel Vestey, 3rd Baron Vestey, has passed away aged 79

Queen Elizabeth II watches the runners in the parade ring for the Epsom Derby at Epsom Racecourse on June 1, 2019 in Epsom, England
(Image credit: Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

The Queen has lost a close family friend and former Master of the Horse as Samuel Vestey, 3rd Baron Vestey has passed away. 

In what has likely been an already difficult week for the Queen, she has received some very sad news. On Saturday, February 6 the Queen will mark the anniversary of her late father, King George VI’s death. With the poignant date now only a day away, the monarch has now suffered more heartbreak as her close friend, Samuel Vestey, 3rd Baron Vestey, has passed away.

It has been reported that Baron Vestey has died aged 79, only months after the death of his wife, Lady Celia Vestey. Lord Vestey was once a part of the Queen’s tight-knit royal circle and worked as her Master of the Horse. 

He is also understood to have accompanied her to huge events, such as Royal Ascot.

John Warren, Queen Elizabeth II and Lord Samuel Vestey watch the racing as they attend Derby Day during the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom Racecourse on June 3, 2017 in Epsom

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

As Master of the Horse, Lord Vestey was responsible for overseeing all matters connected with the horses of the sovereign. He was also a former Chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse.

Given his prominent position in the Queen’s life, it is likely that she will be very sad to hear of his death. Taking to Twitter, Royal Commentator Dickie Arbiter expressed his own regret at hearing the devastating news.

‘So sorry to hear the sad news that The Queen’s friend and former Master of the Horse, Sam Vesty, has died aged 79. I remember when Lord Vesty joined the Royal Household - he was such a nice man, had time for everybody and such a gentleman. RIP Sam’, Mr. Arbiter wrote.

Samuel Vestey’s sad death comes just over a month after his wife, Lady Celia Vestey, passed away in December 2020. She was not only another beloved royal friend, but also Prince Harry’s godmother. 

Lady Celia attended both Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle, now Duchess of Sussex, in 2018 and Prince William's to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.

The loss of such close family friends will no doubt be felt deeply by the Queen and Royal Family.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!