The youngest of Queen Elizabeth’s maids of honour at her 1953 coronation passed away just one day before Her Majesty’s state funeral.
The Times reported that Lady Mary Russell died on September 18, aged 88.
“Lady Mary died peacefully at home with her family around her on Sunday 18 September,” the outlet’s obituary read.
“Beloved wife of David, much-loved mother of Arabella, Anthony, Philip, Jason and Marina, and dearly loved by her 12 grandchildren.”
Lady Mary was 19 when she helped five other maids of honour in carrying the Queen’s six-metre train – which was so heavy the monarch would be unable to move without their hel[ – at Westminster Abbey during the coronation.
Queen Elizabeth II with her maids of honour Lady Moyra Campbell, Lady Anne Glenconner, Lady Rosemary Muir, Lady Mary Russell, the Baroness Willoughby de Eresby Jane Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, Lady Jane Rayne. Image: The Print Collector/Getty Images
Her father, the Earl of Haddington, was a childhood friend of the Queen Mother and was pictured carrying the Sceptre of the Dove at George VI’s coronation in 1937.
In a previous interview, Lady Mary recalled how “moving” and “overwhelming” the coronation was, as well as the honour of being one of a select few chosen to be involved in the ceremony.
“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,” she said.
“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.”
Fellow maid of honour Baroness Anne Glenconner told the BBC that they had a taste of fame during the 1950s as a result of their role in the historic occasion, describing them as “the Spice Girls of their time”.
Lady Mary’s passing comes two years after the death of Lady Morya Campbell, another maid of honour, at the age of 90.
Baroness Glenconner, along with Lady Jane Lacey, Lady Rosemary Muir and Baronness Willoughby de Eresby, is still alive today.
Image: Getty Images
This article first appeared on OverSixty.