Fresh heartache for the Queen after close family friend dies aged 102

The Queen
(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen is facing fresh heartache after news that a close family friend has died aged 102.

The Queen is expected to be saddened by the death of the Scottish chief clan and decorated war hero Captain Alwyne Arthur Compton Farquharson has died aged 102.

A close friend of Prince Philip, the Captain would often have coffee with the Duke of Edinburgh at Sandringham and was awarded the Military Cross for his role in the Battle of Normandy.

But news of his death will be of sadness to the Queen who worshipped at Crathie Kirk in a seat directly opposite him, and he was also her Balmoral neighbour.

Her majesty and the Duke used to attend the Braemar Highland Gathering at The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park - an event often attended by the Captain.

The Queen and Prince Philip at the Highland Games

(Image credit: Getty)

The Captain's lands extended from Perthshire to Aberdeenshire but he passed away at his Norfolk home.

A memorial is planned in Crathie Kirk in November.

Jonathan Findlay, President of Clan Farquharson UK, expressed his 'deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences' to Madam Farquharson and the wider family.

He told The Scotsman, "The Chief played an important part in all of our lives and he will be dearly missed."

He leaves behind his wife Patricia and five step-children from his two marriages his nephews and a niece.

His first wife was British Vogue journalist Frances Gordon, the pair married in 1949 and first met when the Captain was recovering from war injuries.

He fought at the Battle for Caen in 1944, earning him the Military Cross for singlehandedly determining the position of the enemy even though he was seriously injured in the foot.

Captain Farquharson and his wife, close friend of the Queen and Prince Philip

(Original Caption) Queen At Braemar Gathering. Captain Alwyne Farquharson of Invergauld (neighbour of the Queen at Balmoral), and his wife in a tartan cloak arriving at the Braemar Highland Gathering yesterday. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Ms Gordon passed away in 1991 and the chieftain shortly married Patricia de Winton, Madame Farquharson.

The Ballater Highland Games also paid tribute to the captain. It posted a note on its Facebook page which read, 'Ballater Highland Games are very sad to announce, earlier today the passing of Capt. Alwyne Arthur Compton Farquharson of Invercauld, M.C.

It continued, 'Our Chieftain for 73 years, the loss we feel is immense. Our heartfelt condolences are with Alwyne''s wife Patricia, Madame Farquharson & our Chieftain Philip Farquharson & his family especially so close after of Zoe' too!'

He was vice-patron of the Braemar Royal Highland Gathering.

He saw to it that Braemar Castle - the seat of the clan - become community-owned and was vigilant in his duties as chieftain of the Ballater Highland Games.

He never missed a march onto the field for 73 years, including the last of its kind in 2019 at the grand age of 100.

It's understood that Captain Alwyne resigned from chiefship a year before his death was because he worried about bringing down the 'tempo of the event' and didn't want to be 'wheeled onto the field'.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)