Fortune FitzRoy, Duchess of Grafton

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Her Grace
The Dowager Duchess of Grafton
GCVO
Born Ann Fortune Smith
(1920-02-24) 24 February 1920 (age 94)
Other names Ann Fortune FitzRoy
Occupation Mistress of the Robes
(since 1967)
Spouse(s) Hugh FitzRoy, 11th Duke of Grafton (m. 1946–2011)
Children James FitzRoy, Earl of Euston
Lady Henrietta FitzRoy
Lady Virginia FitzRoy
Lord Charles FitzRoy
Lady Olivia FitzRoy
Parents Evan Cadogan Eric Smith
Beatrice Williams

Ann Fortune FitzRoy, Dowager Duchess of Grafton, GCVO (née Smith; 24 February 1920) is the widow of Hugh FitzRoy, 11th Duke of Grafton. She has been Mistress of the Robes since 1967.[1]

Early life[edit]

The Duchess was born to Captain Evan Cadogan Eric Smith MC of Ashfold in Sussex, and his wife Beatrice Williams. Her younger brother, Sir John Smith, was a financier with the family business (a bank) (formerly known as Smith's Bank of Nottingham and was later titled as the National Provincial Bank and then part of NatWest), a Conservative MP, and the founder of the Landmark Trust. She also has another brother who is younger than her, Jeremy Fox Eric Smith (born 1928).[2]

Marriage and children[edit]

On 12 October 1946, she married the then Earl of Euston who she had first met at the age of 18 at a ball at Euston Hall.

They had five children:[2]

  • James Oliver Charles Fitzroy, Earl of Euston, born on 13 December 1947, died on 1 October 2009(2009-10-01) (aged 61) [3]
  • Lady Henrietta Fortune Doreen Fitzroy, born on (1949-09-14) 14 September 1949 (age 64)
  • Lady Virginia Mary Elizabeth Fitzroy, born on (1954-04-10) 10 April 1954 (age 60), a god-daughter of Queen Elizabeth II.[4]
  • Lord Charles Patrick Hugh Fitzroy, born on (1957-01-07) 7 January 1957 (age 57)
  • Lady Olivia Rose Mildred Fitzroy, born on (1963-08-01) 1 August 1963 (age 50)

In 1970, Hugh Fitzroy, Earl of Euston succeeded his father after his death as 11th Duke of Grafton, whereupon she became known as Duchess of Grafton. In April 2011, the Duchess of Grafton was widowed.[5] Her husband was succeeded as duke by their grandson Henry FitzRoy, Viscount Ipswich, as their elder son died in 2009.

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 24 February 1920 – 12 October 1946: Miss Ann Fortune Smith
  • 12 October 1946 – 11 November 1970: Countess of Euston
  • 11 November 1970 – 7 April 2011: Her Grace The Duchess of Grafton
  • 7 April 2011 – present: Her Grace The Dowager Duchess of Grafton

Royal service[edit]

She was a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth II between 1953 and 1966 and has been Mistress of the Robes since 1967.[1] The Queen is godmother to her daughter, Lady Virginia Mary Elizabeth FitzRoy. The Duchess was appointed GCVO in 1980.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Her Majesty's A-team DailyTelegraph
  2. ^ a b Lundy, Darryl. "Ann Fortune Smith". The Peerage. Retrieved 30 May 2011. [unreliable source]
  3. ^ Earl of Euston obituary Daily Telegraph
  4. ^ "'Nappy and glorious'". Daily Mail. 1 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Death announcements". Daily Telegraph. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
Court offices
Preceded by
The Duchess of Devonshire
Mistress of the Robes to
Queen Elizabeth II

1967–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent