By Emma Dooney published
The Queen has suffered yet another heartbreaking loss, following the death of her close friend, Ann Fortune FitzRoy.
- The Queen's close friend, Ann Fortune FitzRoy, has passed away aged 101.
- The Duchess of Grafton was largely considered one of Her Majesty's most trusted assistants, having first joined the Royal Household back in 1953.
- In other royal news, Prince Harry risks new family drama as he takes a swipe at Prince Charles and CBE scandal.
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.
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.
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 news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.
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