The Queen is among thousands of fans mourning the loss of jockey and best-selling author, Dick Francis.
Buckingham Palace says the British monarch has been left "saddened" after the 89-year-old passed away at his home in the Cayman Islands on Sunday.
A successful steeplechase jockey (pictured with the Queen and Princess Margaret in 1956), Dick went on to write thriller novels after he retired from the sport in 1957.
In 2000, the Queen - whose mother was also among his many readers -honoured the author by making him a Commander of the British Empire.
Dick's two sons Felix and Merrick say they are "devastated" by their father's passing, but "rejoice in having been the sons of such an extraordinary man."
"We share in the joy that he brought to so many over such a long life," they say.
Photo: ę Rex
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