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More heartbreak for the Queen as second friend dies in the space of weeks

The Queen's close ally, Lady Diana Farnham, has died aged 90 in the second tragic loss for her Majesty in only a matter of weeks.

She had been the Queen's Lady of the Bedchamber since 1987 and was present in many historic moments of her reign.

Across her 44 years of service, she was present on multiple royal tours and even rode alongside the Queen in 2012 in the journey to her Diamond Jubilee service.

Speaking to the Telegraph, a royal source said: "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.”

The devoted lady-in-waiting passed away on December 29 only weeks after the death of Ann Fortune FitzRoy, the Duchess of Grafton, another close friend of the Queen who died at the start of December.

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The Duchess of Grafton passed away aged 101 having served as the Mistress of the Robes since 1967. She was made Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in 1980 for her services to the sovereign.

The two deaths come at the end of a long year for the monarch, who lost her beloved husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, in April aged 99.

Only four days before the death of Lady Farnham the Queen's Christmas day speech had emotionally touched on how hard it can be to lose people.

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In her address, she said: "Although it's a time of great happiness and good cheer for many, Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones.

"This year, especially, I understand why.

"But for me, in the months since the death of my beloved Philip, I have drawn great comfort from the warmth and affection of the many tributes to his life and work – from around the country, the Commonwealth and the world.

"His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation – were all irrepressible.

"That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him.

"But life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings; and as much as I and my family miss him, I know he would want us to enjoy Christmas."

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