Queens close courtier dies aged 101 after serving since coronation

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The Queen is coping with another loss this week after one of her close confidants died at the age of 101.

Ann Fortune FitzRoy, the Duchess of Grafton died on Friday after serving the Royal Household from almost the very beginning of the Queen's 69-year reign, joining her on many official events and overseas royal tours.

Ann,began attending to Her Majesty in the position of Lady of the Bedchamber in 1953, the year of her coronation.

Three years after becoming Mistress of the Wardrobe, she took on the title of Duchess of Grafton, and is thought to have become one of the Queen's dearest friends.

She was given the honour of Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in 1980, which is given by the Queen for services to the sovereign.

Ann married the 11th Duke of Grafton, Hugh FitzRoy — who is descended from King Charles II — in 1946, and they had five children, two boys and three girls.

The monarch was made the godmother to Ann's second daughter in 1954.

Her son, James Oliver Charles FitzRoy, Earl of Euston died on 1 October 2009 at his home at the age of 61. She became a widow when her husband passed away two years later.

This latest bereavement comes towards the end of a tough year for the 95 year old monarch.

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 at the age of 99.

She has also been struggling with a string of health scares since the autumn, and had to miss the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in November while she recovered from an overnight stay in hospital.

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  • Meghan Markle
  • Prince Harry
  • Prince Philip
  • Queen
  • Family

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