Queen heartbreak: Devastating loss of second close confidante ‘taps off year of hardships’

The Queen travels with Lady Farnham during Diamond Jubilee

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The Queen’s “right-hand woman” passed away four days after Christmas, leaving the elderly monarch in mourning. Diana Maxwell, Lady Farnham passed away at home at the age of 90 on December 29. The death “taps off a year of hardships for the Queen,” according to Christina Garibaldi, a US Weekly correspondent.

Speaking on the podcast Royally Us, Ms Garibaldi said that the loyal aide had served 34 years as Queen Elizabeth’s lady-in-waiting.

Lady Farnham, who started her role as Lady of Bedchamber in 1987, was a close friend of the Queen.

She was then appointed Commander, Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in 1998 after the Queen recognised her personal service.

The death comes just weeks after the passing of another devoted friend and former Mistress of the Robes, the Duchess of Grafton.

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Ms Garibaldi said: “Queen Elizabeth ended the year with some sad news.

“This woman has been by her side for a very long period of time.

“Unfortunately it taps off a year of hardships for the Queen. This is the second lady-in-waiting to pass away this year too.”

Co-host Christine Ross added: “It must be heartbreaking for her. These women are so close to her. 

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“They serve in this role for so many years. 34 years is such a long time.

“Normally a lady-in-waiting is a companion, a confidant. She might arrange her schedule, they tend to anticipate needs.

“These women look after the Queen and they really are a part of her day-to-day life.

“So it must just be devastating when someone like that is gone.”


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Ms Garibaldi pointed out that Lady Farnham rode alongside Her Majesty on the way to the Diamond Jubilee service in 2012 when Prince Philip was too ill to attend.

A royal source told The Telegraph: “It is very sad for the Queen. Everyone loved Lady Farnham, she was always so good-humoured.

“She was also a very glamorous and attractive woman.

“She was always very generous to new people joining the household.

“It has not been a good year for the Queen – losing her husband and then the Duchess of Grafton and now Lady Farnham.

“They were dear friends who supported the Queen on official duties.

“Unfortunately, a sad consequence of living a long life is that you have to say goodbye to a lot of people you care about.”

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