Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II's Maid of Honor Died Hours Before Monarch's State Funeral

Lady Mary Russell, who served as one of Queen Elizabeth II’s maids of honor, died peacefully on Sept. 18, just one day before the late monarch’s state funeral

Hm Queen Elizabeth Ii With Her Maids Of Honour
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One of Queen Elizabeth II's maids of honor on her coronation day passed away on the eve of the late monarch's final goodbye.

Lady Mary Russell died peacefully at her home on Sept. 18 and was surrounded by her family, according to a Sept. 26 obituary in The Times. She was 88.

She and her husband David shared three sons including Anthony, Philip and Jason, and two daughters Arabella and Mariana. According to her obituary, Lady Russell was also "dearly loved by her 12 grandchildren."

Funeral arrangements will be held Oct. 10 with the family asking for donations to National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in Lady Russell's memory.

Her death came just one day before Queen Elizabeth's state funeral, which was held on Sept. 19. More than 2,000 guests including Prince William, Prince Harry, King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla said goodbye to Her Majesty -- who died Sept. 8 at age 96 -- in a ceremony watched by 11.4 million people in the United States alone.

Behind the Scenes of Queen Elizabeth II's Funeral

While the Queen was remembered as a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved mother by King Charles, Lady Russell looked to her Majesty as a friend.

In 1953, she was the youngest of six maids of honor in attendance at Queen Elizabeth's coronation at Westminster Abbey. The other five ladies were Lady Moyra Campbell, who passed away in 2020 at age 90, Lady Anne Glenconner, Lady Jane Lacey, Baroness Willoughby de Eresby and Lady Rosemary Muir.

"Of all the girls our age in the country, we six girls were chosen to carry the Queen's train and that meant a great deal," Lady Russell previously said in 2013 about the Queen's coronation. "It was overwhelming and moving-especially during the anointing. It was an incredible moment, but all I could think about was how heavy the embroidery felt."

According to royal historians, the Queen's gown is estimated to have weighed over 11 pounds.

Reflecting on what it was like to play a major role in the Queen's coronation, Glenconner told the BBC that the six ladies were "the Spice Girls of their time" after holding such an important role in Her Majesty's big day.

A look at some key moments in the life of Queen Elizabeth II.

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