At 101 years old, Queen’s Mistress and one her closest and dearest friends died.

Ann Fortune FitzRoy of Grafton died on Friday, December 3, after having served the Royal Household during the queen’s entire reign of 69 years. 

The Duchess received the prestigious Dame Grand Cross Royal Victorian Order in 1980. It was a personal award given by the Queen to recognize her service to the sovereign. In 1954, she named the monarch as the godmother of her second child.

This follows Prince Phillip’s death in April at the age of 99. The Queen was forced to be alone at Windsor Castle while she grieved her husband’s death. 

Although close to the Duchess, she was actually only one Mistress of Robes under Queen Victoria’s reign. Previously, this role had responsibility for the clothing and jewelry of the monarch. 

Queen Elizabeth II, followed by her Lady-in-Waiting, the Duchess of Grafton, arrive at the House of Lords for the State Opening of Parliament

Following Queen Elizabeth II is her Lady in Waiting, the Duchess of Grafton. They arrive at the House of Lords to celebrate the State Opening of Parliament

The Duchess of Grafton (left) pictured with the Queen's mother walking along the beach at Wolkam Bay in 1987

Left: Grafton’s Duchess with Queen Mary walking on Wolkam Bay beach, 1987

She first joined the Royal Household in 1953, the year of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation, as Lady of the Bedchamber for the Queen, before becoming Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in the New Year’s Honours list 1965. 

In 1920 she was born. She married Hugh FitzRoy the 11th Duke Grafton in 1946.

Fortune was named Duchess at Grafton after his father’s death. He had been Mistress of Wardrobe for three years before he became Fortune.

Prior to her husband’s April 2011 death, she shared five children: two boys, three girls.

In 1954, the Queen became Lady Virginia FitzRoy’s godmother. 

Although she was mainly behind the scenes, Duchess of Cambridge was there for the important royal occasions such as state visits and opening of Parliament.

In her Mistresses of the Wardrobe role, she also managed the entire rota ladies-inwaiting (friends and assistants of Queen Elizabeth).

The importance of her role was personally recognised by Her Majesty when she appointed the Duchess Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in 1980. Only the Dukes of Kent and Gloucester, Princess Alexandra and the Duchess of Kent have held the award longer. 

She was a longstanding friend of Queen Elizabeth until Friday’s death.

The Duke And Duchess Of Grafton leaving Westminster Abbey following a Service of Thanksgiving

Following a Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey, The Duke And Duchess Of Grafton leave.

The Duchess of Grafton (right) pictured alongside Lady Diana Spence in June 1981 outside Royal Ascot

Pictured with Lady Diana Spence and The Duchess Of Grafton in June 1981 at Royal Ascot

The Queen’s turbulent year has seen her deal with Prince Harry’s exit and Meghan Markle moving to the USA, as well as the loss of Prince Philip.

Philip was her strength & guide’ during their 73 year marriage and her 69 year reign.

Crowds of mourners left flowers and tributes in the streets of palaces after his death. They were so numerous that they had to be told to move because of the pandemic.  

After seeing photos of Queen Bereavement alone at her husband’s funeral, the nation was left devastated. She was left to grieve for her children and grandchildren in the Covid secure ceremony.

As Her Majesty (95) wiped her tears away and bow her head in reverence at St George’s Chapel, she said a farewell to Prince Philip. She was married to him for 73 years. However, she socially avoided the mask and was discrete.

Queen Elizabeth pictured during the funeral of husband Prince Philip, who died at the age of 99

Queen Elizabeth photographed during Prince Philip’s funeral. Philip died at 99.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Peter Phillips, David Armstrong-Jones, Earl of Snowdon and Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence follow the Land Rover Defender hearse carrying the Duke of Edinburgh's coffin

Prince William and Prince Harry are accompanied by Prince Harry, Duke Of Sussex, Peter Phillips. Vice-Admiral, Sir Timothy Laurence is also accompanied by the Land Rover Defender hearingse that carries the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh.

It was an 800-strong guest list that included politicians and royalty who could have expected to visit Windsor in support of the historic end. 

As hand sanitizer was not available, only 30 of the mourners were permitted to attend and 4 singers.

The Duke and Duchess also stated earlier in this year that they won’t be returning as working members to the Royal Family.

The Queen announced that they would no longer be able to continue the duties and responsibilities associated with public service.