Royal expert slams Prince Andrew as Queen faces 'massive year'
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Christmas has officially been and gone as today marks Twelfth Night. The Twelfth Night marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas, and falls on the eve of the Epiphany, the Christian feast day, which falls on January 6 each year. The ancient celebrations mark Jesus’ baptism from John the Baptist, as well as the visit from the three wise men.
Also known as ‘Three Kings Day’, the Gospel of Matthew said three kings followed a star across the desert until they reached Bethlehem, bringing gold, frankincense and myrrh with them.
Lots of people stick to January 5 for taking their decorations down, and keeping them up any longer is believed to bring bad luck. Unless you are the Queen, that is.
Her Majesty marked her first Christmas without her beloved husband Prince Philip this year.
She was joined at Windsor Castle by several members of the Royal Family including Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince Edward, Sophie and the Wessex children.
In years gone by, the royals have spent the festive season at Sandringham. The Queen and Philip would traditionally arrive a few days before Christmas, and would remain there until at least February 6.
The date marks the anniversary of the death of her late father King George VI in 1952.
Christmas decorations remained up at Sandringham until Her Majesty departed.
George VI fell ill after the stress of World War 2. Heavy smoking and a subsequent development of cancer, as well as other illnesses, saw his health deteriorate.
Amid his declining health, his Christmas broadcast of 1951 was recorded in small snippets and then edited together. Within weeks of the broadcast, he had passed away. He passed away in his sleep from a coronary thrombosis on the morning of February 6.
He was just 56, while his eldest daughter Princess Elizabeth was only 25. At the time, she and Philip were on a royal tour in Kenya. Upon hearing the news, the new Queen immediately returned home.
Her Majesty traditionally marks the anniversary of her father’s death in private, before returning to her royal duties.
The Queen is currently mourning two of her ladies-in-waiting after they both died within a month.
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Lady Farnham died four days after Christmas at the age of 90.
She had served as the monarch’s Lady of the Bedchamber since 1987, and rode alongside Her Majesty on the way to the Diamond Jubilee service in 2012 after Philip was hospitalised.
Her death came after a remarkable 44 years of royal service.
The sad news followed the recent passing of the Duchess of Grafton, the Queen’s Mistress of the Robes.
Ann Fortune FitzRoy had served Her Majesty in the prestigious role from 1967 until her death on December 3 at the age of 101.
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.”
The source added: “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.”
A number of long-serving ladies-in-waiting will continue to serve the monarch on official duties.
These include Lady Susan Hussey, 82, who travelled with her in the car to Philip’s funeral, and Dame Mary Morrison, 85, who has served as Woman of the Bedchamber since 1960.
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