Royals Princess Eugenie's Father-in-Law Dies Just Days Before Grandson August's Royal Christening George Brooksbank was hospitalized with COVID-19 for nine weeks in spring 2020, when the family was told to "prepare for the worst" By Stephanie Petit Stephanie Petit Stephanie Petit is a Royals Writer and Reporter at PEOPLE. People Editorial Guidelines Published on November 22, 2021 10:51 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank; George Brooksbank. Photo: Dave Benett/Getty Images; YUI MOK/AFP via Getty Images Princess Eugenie is mourning the loss of her father-in-law, whose death came just days ahead of her son August's royal christening. George Brooksbank, the father of Eugenie's husband of three years Jack Brooksbank, died last week, according to the PA. The outlet reports George, 72, had "been ill for some time" after battling the coronavirus last year. The Brooksbank family was told to "prepare for the worst" multiple times while he spent nine weeks in the hospital, including five weeks on a ventilator, with COVID-19 after a trip to France, The Telegraph reported last year. His condition finally improved following a tracheotomy, and George credited his recovery to the staff at both the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London and the Royal Brompton Hospital. "The point I really want to get across is that I think the NHS is absolutely magnificent," said George, according to The Telegraph. "The way I was treated was incredible. Nothing was too much trouble and at no point did I get a sense of a shortage of doctors or nurses or any impression that the service was in any way overwhelmed." He added, "I certainly owe them my life." George Brooksbank. Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images Queen Elizabeth Attends Joint Christening for Great-Grandchildren August Brooksbank and Lucas Tindall In June 2020, Princess Eugenie shared a video on her personal Instagram page thanking frontline workers, especially those who "saved my father in law George's life during his stays at St Mary's, Chelsea and Royal Brompton Hospital after he contracted the virus." "I can't begin to express the thanks I have to you all for bringing him back to our family, my husband Jack, his brother Tom and his beloved wife Nicola. We are forever grateful," the 31-year-old granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth wrote in the caption. Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more! On Sunday, Princess Eugenie and Jack's 9-month-old son, August, was baptized at All Saints Chapel in Windsor Great Park in a rare joint christening with Zara and Mike Tindall's 8-month-old son, Lucas. Queen Elizabeth, 95, attended the baptism after weeks of health issues prevented her from attending several events, including Remembrance Sunday.