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The Queen in mourning as close relative dies

Her majesty was close friends with her late cousin

the queen funeral
Diane Shipley
Diane ShipleySenior Online Writer
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The Queen’s cousin Lady Elizabeth Shakerley has died at the age of 79.

More widely known as Lady Elizabeth Anson, she was the monarch's first cousin once removed and a close friend of the Queen, who relied on her to arrange many private engagements.

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The late Lady Elizabeth founded her party planning business, Party Planners in 1960.

She then went on to arrange events for a number of high-profile people and royals, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, organising a reception for foreign royals the night before their wedding at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel.

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Lady Elizabeth also planned the Queen's 80th birthday party, Margaret Thatcher's 70th birthday party, and Sting's wedding to Trudie Styler.

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She was born in Windsor Castle in 1941, the daughter of Thomas Anson, Viscount Anson, and his wife, the Queen's niece, Anne Bowes-Lyon.

After their divorce, her mother married Prince George Valdemar of Denmark and moved to Paris.

Lady Elizabeth married Sir Geoffrey Shakerley at Westminster Abbey on 27 July 1972 with The Queen, The Queen Mother and Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands in attendance and Princess Anne as one of her bridesmaids.

lady elizabeth shakerley© Photo: PA

Lady Elizabeth was close friends with the Queen

The couple divorced in 2009 and had one child: a daughter, Fiona Elizabeth Fenella Shakerley, who was born in 1973.

Fiona married Edward Brocas Burrows in 2004 and the couple share two children: Noah, 14, and Ruby, 11.

Earlier this year, the Queen awarded her cousin a great honour, making her a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order on 31 March.

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The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood that was established in 1896 by Queen Victoria.

It recognises distinguished personal service to the monarch, members of the monarch's family, or to any viceroy or senior representative of the monarch.

Lady Elizabeth died in the early hours of Sunday morning, surrounded by family.

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