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Queen Elizabeth's 69th Coronation Anniversary Mired In Death And Mourning

Queen Elizabeth II, 94, is the longest-reigning monarch in history, and on February 6 she will mark an extraordinary 69 years on the throne. 

However, the milestone will be bittersweet as the anniversary falls on the same date as her father's death and just days after the passing of a dear friend.

The Queen is known for her love of horses and is one of the biggest racehorse owners and breeders in Britain.

Given her passion for thoroughbreds, the royal appointment of Master of the Horse is not one the Queen gives lightly.

On Thursday the death of former Master of the Horse and dear friend of the Queen, Lord Vestey was announced.

The 79-year-old was one of Britain's richest men and the former chairman of Cheltenham racecourse.

As master of the horse Lord Vestey was in charge of all matters connected with the horses and formerly also the hounds of the sovereign, as well as the stables and coach-houses, the stud, mews, and previously the kennels, are within his jurisdiction.

Over the years Lord Vestey was often a guest of honour at the Queen's favourite week of the year Royal Ascot.

Tributes for the horse racing great have poured in on social media with many commentators noting his close relationship with the Queen.

Former royal aide Dickie Arbiter tweeted: "So sorry to hear the sad news that The Queen’s friend and former Master of the Horse, Sam Vesty, has died aged 79."

"I remember when Lord Vesty joined the Royal Household - he was such a nice man, had time for everybody and such a gentleman. RIP Sam."

Royal Central editor Charlie Proctor wrote: "Lord Vestey, formerly Master of the Horse, has died at the age of 79.

"His wife Celia died just a few weeks prior.

"The couple were friends of The Queen, with Lord Vestey often sitting in the coveted position alongside HM during the carriage procession at Royal Ascot each year."

Queen to shatter royal tradition this weekend - painful day in store

On Saturday the Queen will mark the anniversary of her father King Georg VI's death.

Usually, the Queen travels back to London from Sandringham on the poignant date every year, which she marks in private.

However, this year the Queen will mark the milestone at Windsor Castle where she and Prince Philip, 99, have been spending lockdown.

The Queen may choose to visit Windsor Castle's private chapel to pay tribute to her late father.

One royal commentator claimed the Queen is likely to be saddened by the anniversary of her father's death and the recent death of Lord Vestey.

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk: "The anniversary of her father’s George V1’s death is a sad reminder to the Queen of the burdens he carried at a crucial time in our history, which the nation will always be grateful for."

"The death of her close friend and former Master of the Horse Lord Vestey will have much saddened her."

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