Queen in mourning as cousin and friend dies aged 79

The Queen is mourning after her cousin and close friend, Lady Elizabeth Shakerley, died.

Lady Elizabeth, who was also known as Lady Elizabeth Anson, passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning at the age of 79, with her family by her side.

The Royal Family Gather At Westminster Abbey For The Funeral Of The Q. Mother Who Had Lived To The Age Of 101
The Queen is in mourning as her cousin Lady Elizabeth Shakerley has died. Photo: Getty Images

The Queen and Lady Elizabeth were extremely close and not only were they relatives but Lady Elizabeth helped Her Majesty arrange many of her private parties at Buckingham Palace.

Born in 1941, Lady Elizabeth was the daughter of Thomas Anson, Viscount Anson, and his wife, Anne Bowes-Lyon, who would later become Princess Anne of Denmark.

She was the Queen’s first cousin once removed and her mother was the Queen’s niece.

When Lady Elizabeth married Sir Geoffrey Shakerley at Westminster Abbey in 1972, the Queen’s daughter, Prince Anne, acted as bridesmaid.


File photo dated 01/07/95 of the Queen's cousin Lady Elizabeth Shakerley (centre) who has died aged 79, seen walking with the Queen and the Prince of Wales at a wedding reception in Hampton Court Palace for the exiled Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece and Marie-Chantal Miller. More widely known in her professional capacity as Lady Elizabeth Anson, she was a close friend of the Queen and responsible for arranging many of her private parties.. Issue date: Sunday November 1, 2020. See PA story DEATH Shakerley. Photo credit should read: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire
Lady Elizabeth Shakerley was a close friend of the Queen's and organised many of her parties. Photo: Getty Images

The couple went on to have one daughter together, Fiona Elizabeth Fenella Shakerley, before divorcing in 2009.

Lady Elizabeth was also extremely close to the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, who passed in 2002.

Speaking with BBC Breakfast with Frost at the time, she said: "I think that I would like particularly to remember a dinner I had with her in a restaurant about a year ago, it was the first dinner she had, you know, in a restaurant for many months and I think unfortunately the last, it was just before her stroke last year and she looked so wonderfully beautiful.

"She was wearing a beautiful red and gold jacket and she was wearing, had taken out her rubies and, and she looked almost, I mean she did look as she did before she had her very first stroke and she was in fantastic form and that is actually how I would like to remember and will remember her."

The sad news comes as reports emerge that the Queen will reportedly step down in 2021, and hand over the reins to Prince Charles.

"I still firmly believe when the Queen becomes 95, that she will step down,” royal expert Robert Jobson said on True Royalty TV's The Royal Beat.

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