Queen suffers heartbreaking grief as close friend dies

The Queen's close friend, Ann FitzRoy Fortune, passed away on Friday

Queen suffers heartbreaking grief as close friend dies
(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen has suffered yet another heartbreaking loss, following the death of her close friend, Ann Fortune FitzRoy. 


The Queen has lost one of her closest friends and remaining ladies in waiting, just a few months after her beloved husband Prince Philip died aged 99 at Windsor Castle.

Ann Fortune Fitzroy, Dowager Duchess of Grafton, passed away on Friday, 3 December, marking the end of her 68-year-long service to the Royal Household. At 101 years old, she was widely regarded as Her Majesty's most senior lady-in-waiting after Lady Susan Hussey

After earning her stripes as the Queen's Lady of the Bedchamber, the Duchess was appointed Mistress of the Robes in 1967 and held the prestigious role until her death. Historically, the post required the Lady to tend to Her Majesty's style and ensure that all her clothes and jewelry were always up to scratch. 

However, in recent times, its purpose has evolved to become more focused on administrative matters. The Duchess would mostly have been responsible for arranging the rota of attendance of her fellow ladies in waiting and for delegating royal duties amongst the group. 

Queen with Duchess of Grafton

The Queen with Ann Fortune Fitzroy 

(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen's relationship with the aristocratic Ann harks back to 1953 when she first joined the Royal Household. As Lady of the Bedchamber, she worked tirelessly as Her Majesty's personal assistant behind-the-scenes, helping her to prepare for each event on her busy schedule. She also traveled extensively with the monarch, accompanying her on overseas royal engagements as far away as Nigeria and Russia. 

The Duchess performed her royal service with total loyalty, never failing to step up for the Queen throughout her nearly-seventy-year-long post. She also refused to betray Her Majesty by speaking to the media, making her one of the 95-year-old's most trusted confidants. 

Queen with Duchess of Grafton

(Image credit: Getty)

Little is known about the Duchess's personality, but it's been reported that she shares many of the Queen's signature traits. A former Footman to the Royal Family has described her as "elegant" and "well-spoken with impeccable manners, just like Her Majesty." 

Funeral arrangements for the late Duchess have not yet been announced, but will almost certainly be organized by her four surviving children. 

   

Emma is a Lifestyle News Writer for woman&home. Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, she mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

 

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.