Queen's friend of many years dies just months after losing his wife

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·2-min read
EPSOM, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 03: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II and Lord Samuel Vestey watch the racing as they attend Derby Day during the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom Racecourse on June 3, 2017 in Epsom, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The Queen and Lord Samuel Vestey at the Derby Festival at Epsom Racecourse in 2017. (Indigo/Getty Images)

The Queen鈥檚 former Master of the Horse and friend has died just two months after losing his wife.

Lord Samuel Vestey鈥檚 death was announced on Thursday in the Racing Post.

Lady Celia Vestey, Prince Harry鈥檚 godmother, died at the end of November. She was 71.

It鈥檚 not confirmed when Lord Vestey died, and the cause of his death has not been announced either.

Lord Vestey was the chairman of Cheltenham racecourse and had a long association with horse racing and breeding.

He and the Queen were friends, and he was her Master of the Horse for nearly 20 years from 1999 to 2018. He was often seen with the Queen at derby events, riding in her carriage during the processions.

BADMINTON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 06: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Lord Samuel Vestey and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall watch the show jumping phase of the Badminton Horse Trials on May 6, 2013 in Badminton, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Lord Samuel Vestey and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Badminton Horse Trials in 2013. His death was announced on 4 February. (Indigo/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Lord Samuel Vestey attends Trooping the Colour on June 13, 2015 in London, England. The ceremony is Queen Elizabeth II's annual birthday parade and dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th Century, when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Lord Samuel Vestey at Trooping the Colour in 2015. (Indigo/Getty Images)
CHELTENHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 17: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Lord Samuel Vestey, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (wearing a St Patrick's Day themed hat adorned with shamrocks, designed by Philip Treacy) and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attend day 4 'Gold Cup Day' of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 17, 2006 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Lord Samuel Vestey with Prince Charles and Camilla during the Cheltenham Festival in 2006. (Indigo/Getty Images)

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Lord Vestey was born in March 1941 and was educated at Eton and Sandhurst before going into the army in the Scots Guards.

He was married to Kathryn Eccles from 1970 until 1981, and they had two daughters and four grandchildren.

He then married Celia Knight, who became Lady Vestey, and they had three children and four grandchildren.

Their eldest son, Guy Vestey, was a page of honour for the Queen from 1995 to 1998.

ASCOT, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 15: (L-R) Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Samuel Vestey, Master of the Horse and Prince Andrew, Duke of York attend Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 15, 2010 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/WireImage)
The Queen and Prince Philip ride with Samuel Vestey, when he was Master of the Horse, and Prince Andrew, at the Ascot Racecourse in 2010. (WireImage)
NORTHLEACH, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 23: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Lady Celia Vestey and Lord Samuel Vestey attend Harry Meade & Rosie Bradford's wedding at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul on October 23, 2010 in Northleach near Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Indigo/Getty Images)
Lady Celia Vestey and Lord Samuel Vestey at Harry Meade and Rosie Bradford's wedding in 2010 in Northleach near Cheltenham. (Indigo/Getty Images)
EPSOM, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 04: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Lord Samuel Vestey, Master of the Horse talks with Queen Elizabeth II on the balcony of the Royal Box as they attend Derby Day at the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom racecourse on June 4, 2011 in Epsom, England. (Photo by Indigo/Getty Images)
Lord Samuel Vestey, Master of the Horse with the Queen on the balcony of the Royal Box at the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom racecourse in 2011. (Indigo/Getty Images)

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Lord Vestey鈥檚 father died when he was just three-years-old, as he was killed in World War Two. He inherited the peerage when he was 13, as his grandfather died.

The family home is Stowell Park Estate in Gloucestershire.

Master of the Horse is a ceremonial role in the UK now, and mostly appears at state occasions.

Lord and Lady Vestey had formed an important part in the Queen鈥檚 racing circles.

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