Queen's double tragedy as good friend and racing advisor Sir Michael Oswald, 86, dies on day of Prince Philip's funeral

THE Queen has suffered further heartbreak after close friend Sir Michael Oswald tragically died on the day of Prince Philip's funeral.

Her Majesty's trusted racing advisor passed away from a long illness on April 17 aged 86.

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Sir Michael looked after the Queen and Queen Mother's racing interests for almost 30 years.

He was regularly pictured next to the royal at racing events over the years.

Paying tribute, Sir Michael's wife Lady Angela, who was a lady-in-waiting to the Queen Mother, told Racing Post: "He always said he had the most wonderful job anybody could ever have had and that for all his working life he was simply doing what he would have done had he been a rich man who didn't have to work."

Sir Michael was born in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, in 1934 and attended Eton and later King’s College, Cambridge.

The racing enthusiast was then recruited as manager of the Royal Studs.

He worked for the Queen Mother from 1970 until 2002 before becoming Her Majesty's racing advisor after her death.

The expert was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) in last year's New Year Honours list.

He fondly remembered his time working with the Queen and once gave an insight into her dry sense of humour.

Sir Michael had called aide Barry Mitford to let him know a horse the Queen owned called Harvest Song was running and it would be shown on TV in case the monarch wanted to watch it.

He said: "Barry got rather excited at this, asking will it win and should he have a flutter. I told him under no circumstances should he waste any money on it: that I had more chance of winning the 100m at the Olympics."

Incredibly, the 50-1 outsider won the race by five and a half lengths.

When Sir Michael later rang the Queen to ask if she'd watched the race, she replied: "Oh yes, and may I say that Barry is standing next to me. If I was you, I would find some dark glasses and a good disguise next time to come anywhere near this place."

Sir Michael's death is the second tragedy to hit the Queen after her beloved husband of 73 years passed away on April 9.

He was laid to rest on Saturday in a stripped-back funeral in Windsor with just 30 mourners in attendance.

The grieving Queen sat alone as she said a final farewell to her beloved husband on her "saddest and most difficult day".

On Sunday, she is said to have driven herself to Frogmore Gardens – her beloved spot in Windsor – for some quiet contemplation.

Sources say visiting Frogmore regularly will help the Queen deal with her grief after Prince Philip's death.

The gardens are one of her favourite parts of the estate to walk her puppies, dorgi Fergus and corgi Muick.

Her Majesty, who wore all black and a face mask for the occasion, appeared sorrowful and deep in thought during the funeral.


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