They knew each other for nearly 68 years! Sad, Elizabeth II mourns the death of one of her close collaborators who knew her since her beginnings as queen. A very hard death for the Queen who will have to learn to live without the precious advice of her late friend.
Decidedly, it is a dark period for Elizabeth II. After losing her beloved husband Prince Philip, being banned from alcohol and hospitalization, her royal highness must now face the loss of a person very dear to her heart who accompanied her since 1953: the Dowager Duchess Ann Fortune FitzRoy.
Ann Fortune FitzRoy, who died at the (very honorable) age of 101, was the longest serving lady-in-waiting in the Royal Household, and her duties included organizing the rotation of the Queen’s ladies-in-waiting and performing various tasks at state occasions.
She joined the Royal Family in 1953 as a lady-in-waiting to the Queen, and in 1967 became the Dowager Duchess of Grafton and appointed Mistress of the Robes to Queen Elizabeth II. As a reminder, the role of Mistress of the Robes is to assume personal responsibility for the Queen’s clothing and jewelry. Appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in the New Year Honours in 1965, she was promoted to Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 1970 and Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 1980. A fine record of achievement.
In a message posted on Royal Central earlier this year to celebrate her 101st birthday, there were tender words describing the Dowager Duchess. Described as “very eloquent” and possessing “impeccable manners,” we learned that Ann Fortune FitzRoy “always presented herself with a subtle application of natural colored makeup, and the very sweet smell of Floris perfume – quite elegant.”
During her lifetime, the Duchess née Ann Fortune Smith married Hugh Denis Charles FitzRoy, then known as the Earl of Euston, on October 12, 1946, in a wedding ceremony at St. Mary’s Church in Slaugham. Together they had five children: James Fitzroy, Earl of Euston, Lady Henrietta Fitzroy, Lady Virginia Fitzroy, Lord Charles Fitzroy and Lady Rose Fitzroy.
Credit photos: Bestimage