Isabel II He has just lost a very close person with whom he has shared a good part of his life: the Duchess of Grafton, who passed away on December 3 at the age of 101. Ann Fortune FitzRoy has spent seven decades with the monarch, forming part of the group of ladies-in-waiting of the sovereign and living by his side moments as important as his coronation. Not surprisingly, the aristocrat began working for the British Royal Family in 1953, just the year his reign began, which stands out for being the longest in the history of the United Kingdom. During this time he has prepared the outfits of the sovereign for her official acts and has accompanied her in some outstanding public appointments such as the opening of Parliament or the state trips she made to Nigeria, Paris or Russia.
–Elizabeth II attends the christening of her great-grandchildren, the children of Eugenia de York and Zara Tindall
–The plans that Isabel II has not modified after her health problems
During the early years at the British court, the Duchess of Grafton was the Queen’s lady-in-waiting. But later, In 1967, she began to occupy the highest ranking position within this group when she was chosen by Elizabeth II herself as the lady of the robes.. In this way he took over from Mary Alice Cavendish, Duchess of Denonshire, the granddaughter of former Prime Minister Robert Gascoyne-Cecil. Sharing so many experiences together allowed them to settle between the two a friendly bond which is reflected especially in two details. The first of them dates from 1980, when the sovereign appointed her Lady of the Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, a dynastic order that recognizes the service given to some member of the monarchy. The second is that Ann Fortune wanted the sovereign to be godmother at the baptism of her second daughter, Lady Virginia FitzRoy, in 1954.
Born in 1920, Ann Fortune Smith married in 1946 the Earl of Euston and later the Duke of Grafton, Hugh FitzRoy, whom she met at a dance organized by her family at the Euston estate in Suffolk. Their wedding took place at St Mary’s Church in Slaugham and during their marriage they had five children: James Fitzroy (died 2009), Lady Henrietta Fitzroy, Lady Virginia Fitzroy, Lord Charles Fitzroy, and Lady Rose Fitzroy. The Duke, who died in 2011, met the still Princess Elizabeth before his wife as she was part of the Grenadier Guard.
A complicated stage
The last months have not been easy for Isabel II. Apart from the health problems that have forced him to temporarily cancel his commitments, this year has dismissed his great love, Philip of Edinburgh, who passed away in April at the age of 99, a few days before turning 100. “He has simply been my strength and my support. all these years and I and all his family and this and many other countries have with him a debt greater than that he would ever claim or that we would never imagine, “she said of her husband, whom she met when she was only 13. In addition, in January He said goodbye to another close friend, Lady Mary Colman, who besides being his cousin but was also a good friend with whom he used to spend a lot of time. Shortly before, in November 2020, he said goodbye to another of his cousins, Lady Elizabeth Anson, who was in charge of to organize some of the Queen’s most important parties, such as her birthdays.
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Elizabeth II loses one of her great friends and member of the court, the Duchess of Grafton