Queen Elizabeth’s Maid of Honor Died the Day Before State Funeral

Lady Mary Russell

Lady Mary Russell was one of Queen Elizabeth II‘s maids of honor at her 1953 coronation, and she died on September 18 — just one day before Her Majesty’s state funeral.

Russell was 88, according to her obituary in London’s The Times. She “died peacefully at home with her family around her” the Sunday before the queen was laid to rest. She is survived by her husband David Russell and her children Arabella, Philip, Jason, Jason, Mariana. She was also “dearly loved” by her 12 grandchildren.

The England native was one of Elizabeth’s six maids of honor at the June 1953 coronation, held the year after she acceded the throne. She was the 39th sovereign crowned at Westminster Abbey. Her state funeral was held there on September 19.

2013 saw the reunion of the maids-of-honor to recreate their photo from the historic day. This was to celebrate the 60th anniversary. Russell said the ceremony was “overwhelming and moving – especially during the anointing.”

She stressed how prestigious it was being part of that group of young women, all of whom were between 18 and 23, “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,” she said at the time via Hello! Magazine.

The Robe of Estate, made of purple silk-velvet and gold embroidery, is more than 21 feet in length. Russell and Lady Moyra Campbell died, while Campbell died in 2020. However, there are four maids-of-honor who survived. Dowager Baroness Glenconner, Lady Jane Lacey, Baroness Willoughby De EresbyAnd Lady Rosemary Muir.

Russell’s death came 10 days after the queen died at age 96 on September 8 at Balmoral estate in Scotland. Her coffin was moved to London after her death. Her casket — topped with the orb, scepter and imperial state crown — was lying in state at Westminster Hall for the public to pay their respects from September 14 and until just before her funeral on September 19.

The funeral began with a procession of mourners from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey, led by King Charles III, who acceded the throne after his mother died, and his siblings — Princess Anne, Prince AndrewAnd Prince Edward — as well as three of the queen’s grandchildren, Prince William, Prince HarryAnd Peter Phillips.

After her state funeral, she was brought to Windsor to be buried. Her burial was private at the King George VI Memorial Chapel, along with Prince Philip, her late husband who died in April 2021 at the age of 99.