Heartbreaking SAD NEWS: We are sorry for Royals on a big loss


Queen delivered new heartbreaking blow as ‘most loyal’ friend and royal aide dies aged 101

THE Queen suffered yet another significant loss as her former Mistress of the Wardrove died on Saturday aged 101.

Born Ann Fortune Smith in 1920 into the banking Smith Family, she married Hugh FitzRoy in 1946, when he had yet to inherit the ducal title from his father and still used the subsidiary title of Earl of Euston.

The pair shared five children together, two boys and three girls.

Fortune first entered the Court of Elizabeth II as a Lady of the Bedchamber, a position she shared with Elizabeth, the Countess of Leicester.

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The Queen lost a trusted aide with the loss of Fortune, Dowager Duchess of Grafton (Image: GETTY)

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Fortune, left, served as Mistress of the Wardrobe from 1967 until her death (Image: GETTY)

Three years after becoming Mistress of the Wardrobe, she took on the title of Duchess of Grafton following the death of High’s father.

The heir presumptive to the duchy, James FitzRoy, died before both Hugh and Fortune, and the title passed to the couple’s grandson Henry FitzRoy when the 11th Duke died himself in 2011.

The strong relationship she shared with Her Majesty was further cemented when the Duchess of Grafton made the Queen the godmother to her second daughter, Lady Virginia FitzRoy, in 1954.

While mostly working behind the scenes, the Queen paid tribute to Fortune’s service and made her Lady Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in 1980.

The honour is traditionally reserved to either a member of the Royal Family or civilians working for the firm.

The Dowager Duchess of Grafton’s death is the latest blow the Queen has had to grapple with over the past year.

In February, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle confirmed they would not be returning to full royal duties after a one-year trial period away from the family.

And in April, Her Majesty lost her companion of over 70 years when Prince Philip died aged 99.

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Fortune first joined the Court in 1953 as a Lady of the Bedchamber (Image: GETTY)

Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward all attended the service alongside their children.

Princess Margaret’s daughter, Lady Sarah Chatto, was also present with her husband Daniel as were three of the Queen’s cousins – Princess Alexandra, Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, and Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent.

Three descendants of Prince Philip’s four sisters – Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden; Donatus, Prince and Landgrave of Hesse; and Philipp, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg – were also included in the service which was limited to only 30 relatives.


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