The Queen faces double heartache as her close friend dies on the same day as Prince Philip’s funeral

Her Majesty mourns the loss of a dear friend Sir Michael Oswald as well as her husband

The Queen faces double heartache, Queen Elizabeth II (wearing the Courtauld Thomson Scallop-Shell Brooch, which belonged to Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother) attends the funeral of Patricia Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma at St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge on June 27, 2017 in London, England
(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo / Contributor Getty)

The Queen is mourning the loss of her husband Prince Philip and also her close friend Sir Michael Oswald after it is revealed he died on the day she laid the Duke of Edinburgh to rest at Windsor Castle.

The Queen faces double heartache as her majesty has known Sir Michael, who was her racing advisor, for more than 50 years as he previously worked for the Queen Mother, and news of his death aged 86 must have come as a shock to the Queen.

As a former manager of the Royal studs, Sir Michael played a key part in her horse interests, but according to the Racing Post's senior writer, he passed away on 17th April - the same day as Prince Philip's funeral which was restricted to 30 guests.

Sir Michael first worked for the royal family in 1970 until the Queen Mother's death in 2002 and shortly afterward he became the Queen's jumps racing advisor in 2003 and he went on to be appointed the Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) in the 2020 New Year Honours list.

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The Queen faces double heartache, Sir Michael Oswald (National Hunt Racing Adviser to Queen Elizabeth II) and Queen Elizabeth II watch the racing from the balcony of the Royal Box as they attend Derby Day during the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom Racecourse on June 4, 2016 in Epsom, England.

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo / Contributor Getty)

Prince Philip died at home in Windsor Castle aged 99 just weeks after he had a successful heart operation. But while it's not yet known how Sir Michael died, the senior writer at the Racing Post tweeted, 'Sir Michael Oswald was clearly a very lovely man. He died yesterday and is remembered here with great fondness and some super stories' as he shared a tribute from the publication.

The Queen faces double heartache as equestrian sports are one of the royal family's passions, with the Queen having learned to ride a horse at the age of three. 

Oswald's widow, Lady Angela, who was a lady-in-waiting to the Queen Mother for many years, paid tribute to her husband. She said, "He always said he had the most wonderful job anybody could ever have had and that for all his working life he was simply doing what he would have done had he been a rich man who didn't have to work."

Meanwhile, Nicky Henderson, a trainer of royal jumpers, said that his passion for horse racing meant he'd go 'absolutely anywhere' to watch them run.

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The Queen faces double heartache, Trainer Nicky Henderson, Jockey Barry Geraghty and Sir Michael Oswald (r) pose with Queen Elizabeth II's horse Close Touch after winning the Introductory Hurdle Race at Ascot Racecourse on November 23, 2012 in Ascot, England.

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo / Contributor Getty)

"He was very close to the Queen and the Queen Mother and loved his role with their horses, he revealed. "He would go absolutely anywhere to watch them run, even in the last few years when he was in his eighties. He lived in Norfolk, but would happily drive all the way to Exeter. The Queen once said to me that we had to stop Michael travelling all over the country. I did very respectfully point out she was the only one who could do that,"

The Queen faces double heartache, but she has fond memories. Mr Henderson also recalled a time when her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh were in receipt of a bronze pants trophy after the royal horse Close Touch had won EBF Final at Sandown. The race was sponsored by Paddy Power and for the trophies the sponsors had made three bronze sets of pants. He remembered, "They were laid out on the table ready for the presentations, when they suddenly realised that giving the Queen a pair of bronze pants might be deemed inappropriate, so they removed that particular trophy and replaced it with a vase."

Sir Michael was said to be disappointed with the outcome. "Sir Michael made very clear he wanted the pants not the vase and announced he would be driving them straight to Windsor Castle. The following morning I spoke with the Queen, who said the Duke of Edinburgh had been highly entertained by the prize."

Selina Maycock

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 15 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She has covered all things Entertainment for GoodtoKnow, Woman&Home and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand.