Lady Celia Vestey died "suddenly but peacefully" over the weekend

By Stephanie Petit
December 01, 2020 02:56 PM
Prince Harry; Lady Celia Vestey
| Credit: Getty; Shutterstock

Lady Celia Vestey, a godmother to Prince Harry and close friend of the royal family, died "suddenly but peacefully" at the age of 71 over the weekend.

Lady Vestey's family announced the news in the Daily Telegraph.

"Celia Elizabeth SRN BA. Died suddenly, but peacefully, on Saturday 28th November, aged 71 years," the dedication said. "Adored wife of Sam. Much loved mother of William, Arthur and Mary and loving Granny of Ella, Frankie, Sam and Cosima. Private family funeral. Memorial service later. Family flowers only please, but donations gratefully received in Celia's memory to Ebony Horse Club."

Prince Harry reached out to Lady Vestey's three children to privately express his condolences, according to The Sun

She was one of Harry's six godparents, chosen by his parents Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and attended her godson's wedding to Meghan Markle in 2018. Lady Vestey even attended Prince Harry's baptism as a baby and confirmation in 2000, posing for a group photo with her godson, Prince Charles, Prince William, Lady Sarah Chatto and others.

Lady Celia Vestey at Prince Harry's confirmation
| Credit: Ken Goff/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty
Queen Elizabeth and Lady Celia Vestey
| Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Lady Vestey's husband, Lord Samuel Vestey, served as Master of the Horse to the Royal Household from 1999 to 2018, and was appointed as a permanent Lord-in-waiting to the monarch in August 2019. Lady Vestey was a member of Queen Elizabeth's inner circle, frequently joining her and the rest of the royal family for events such as the Royal Ascot, where the couple sometimes arrived in horse-drawn carriages with the royals.

Lady Celia Vestey
| Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Queen Elizabeth, 94, has mourned the loss of several close friends in recent weeks. Lady Moyra Campbell, one of the women who accompanied the monarch as she made her vows at her historic Coronation in 1953, died at age 90 last month.

Queen Elizabeth
| Credit: Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images

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Lady Moyra's passing followed the recent death of the Queen’s cousin, Lady Elizabeth Shakerley. Lady Elizabeth, who was known as Elizabeth Anson, was the original party hostess for the aristocratic and upper classes, running Party Planners business from her home in Notting Hill, London, for decades.