Queen Elizabeth II has lost another prominent male figure in her life, her former racing advisor, Sir Michael Oswald.
Oswald died at the age of 86 on Saturday, the same day the 94-year-old reigning monarch laid her husband, Prince Philip, to rest at a funeral held at Windsor Castle.
The U.K.’s Times reported that he passed away after battling a long illness.
Oswald’s wife, Lady Angela, previously served as a lady-in-waiting to the Queen Mother, the late mother of Queen Elizabeth II. Lady Angela paid tribute to her husband in a statement released this week.
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“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,” Oswald’s widow, Lady Angela, told Blood Horse magazine.
Oswald was the former manager of the Royal Studs, a role he served for 28 years. He was also a racing manager to the Queen Mother before her death. He then became the queen’s jumps advisor.
The British royal family is known for its fondness of horse racing. The queen specifically showed interest at an early age, reportedly having learned horse riding at three years old. Last June, Elizabeth was photographed horseback riding on the grounds of Windsor Castle shared by the royal family’s Instagram account. The palace noted at the time that the queen is “closely involved with the welfare of the horses she owns for breeding, riding and racing.”
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The queen’s racing advisor John Warren added of Oswald via Blood Horse: “Sir Michael did a magnificent job managing the Royal Studs for so long. He was deeply committed to the studs, the Queen, and the Queen Mother. He was extraordinarily enthusiastic and got such a buzz out of all the royal winners.”
Nicky Henderson, known as a trainer of royal jumpers, spoke of Oswald’s “very close” relationship with Her Majesty.
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“He was very close to the Queen and the Queen Mother and loved his role with their horses. He would go absolutely anywhere to watch them run, even in the last few years when he was in his eighties. He lived in Norfolk, but would happily drive all the way to Exeter,” Henderson said via the outlet. “The Queen once said to me that we had to stop Michael from traveling all over the country. I did very respectfully point out she was the only one who could do that.”
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Elizabeth and Oswald were photographed at the Royal Ascot back in 2016.
Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, died on April 9 at the age of 99. He was married to the queen for 73 years.