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In Memoriam: Remembering those who died in 2018

Many friends and relatives of the Royal Family have died this year, as well as royals from across Europe and the world. Here we remember some of those who passed away in 2018.

Torben Eskerod

Prince Henrik of Denmark

In February, Prince Henrik of Denmark died at the age of 83 after recently being diagnosed with dementia. Prince Henrik was the husband of Queen Margrethe and father to Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim.

His Royal Highness died peacefully in his sleep on 13th February at Fredensborg Palace.

Henrik and Queen Margrethe were married for over 50 years and never shied away from controversy.

He was known to be very unhappy at having the title of Prince Consort and wanted to become King so he could be at an equal ranking with his wife.

In 2015, he gave up the title of Prince Consort completely and retired from public duties.

The Duchess of Abercorn

The Duchess of Abercorn died in December at the age of 72.

Born in Arizona, the Duchess of Abercorn was a philanthropist and married The 5th Duke of Abercorn in 1966.

Both the Duke and Duchess of Abercorn had close connections with the Queen and Prince Philip. Despite coming from old and complex nobility, this gave them no airs or graces.

Royal Central contributor Jane Dismore said: “The Duchess of Abercorn was an extraordinary woman”, adding that she was “warm and modest with a generosity of spirit.”

You can read Jane’s full tribute to the Duchess by clicking here.

Princess Elisabeth of Denmark

In June, Princess Elisabeth of Denmark died at the age of 83.

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Princess Elisabeth was the daughter of Hereditary Prince Knud and Hereditary Princess Caroline-Mathilde of Denmark and was a first cousin of the present Danish monarch, Queen Margrethe II. She was 12th in the line of succession to the Danish throne at the time of her death.

She died surrounded by her family.

Patricia, Dowager Countess of Harewood

The Dowager Countess of Harewood, Patricia Lascelles, died in May at the age of 91.

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The Countess was the widow of George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood, who died in 2011.

The Earl was the eldest paternal first cousin of The Queen. They married in Connecticut in 1967.

Patricia was a successful violinist and fashion model in her own right.

A huge football fan, Patricia was Honorary President of Leeds United until her death.

Princess Maria del Carmen of Bourbon-Two Sicilies

Princess Maria del Carmen Carolina Antonia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies died in November at the age of 94.

The Princess was born in the city of Podzamcze in today’s Poland on 13 July 1924 as the eldest child and only daughter of HRH Prince Ranieri of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, the Duke of Castro and his wife HRH Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.

Princess Maria del Carmen never married and left no descendants.

Inés Zorreguieta Cerruti

Queen Máxima’s younger sister, Inés Zorreguieta Cerruti, died in June at the age of 33.


The Queen’s sister took her own life at her home in Argentina.

Inés was a bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding to the then Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander in 2002.

Queen Máxima was “very shocked and very sad” at her sister’s death, the royal house said.

Willow & Whisper

The Queen’s last remaining corgis, Willow and Whisper, died in 2018.

Willow was put to sleep in April at the age of 14 following a cancer-related illness.

Whisper, whom she took in last year following the death of Whisper’s master, ex-Sandringham gamekeeper Bill Fenwick, also died.

These were The Queen’s last remaining corgies. Her Majesty made the decision to stop breeding dogs a few years ago due to her advancing age.

Brigadier Sir Miles Hunt-Davis

The Duke of Edinburgh’s former Private Secretary, Brigadier Sir Miles Hunt-Davis, died in May at the age of 79.


Sir Miles was Prince Philip’s right-hand man for 19 years, having taken his position at Buckingham Palace in 1991 as an Assistant Private Secretary, before being promoted in 1993 and retiring in 2010.

During his time with the Prince, the retired army officer took his role extremely seriously and was the Duke’s most trusted aide.

He was such a close confidant to the Duke that he and his wife were permitted to live in Nottingham Cottage – the current home of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Duke Carl Gregor of Mecklenburg

Duke Carl Gregor of Mecklenburg died at the age of 85 in July at his home Villa Silberberg in Hechingen where he had lived for over 50 years following his marriage to Princess Maria Margarethe of Hohenzollern.

Duke Carl Gregor was widowed in 2006. He and Princess Maria Margarethe had no children, although they had a number of nephews and nieces.

The Duke belonged to the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, also known as Nikloting; it is a North German dynasty that ruled until 1918 in the Mecklenburg region, being amongst the longest-ruling families of Europe.

Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Prince Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the half-brother of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, died in December at the age of 87.

The Prince died on 22 December, and his son said on Twitter, “The Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz has passed away on Saturday. May God forgive him and grant him heaven.”

The Prince, who was born on 15 August 1931, was married four times and had fifteen children. One of his daughters, Sara, claimed political asylum in the UK in 2012.

Archduchess Maria of Austria

Archduchess Maria of Austria died in July at the age of 82. She died at her home in the Austrian capital of Vienna. Archduchess Maria was, on her mother’s side, a second cousin of Queen Paola of Belgium.

Archduchess Maria and Archduke Joseph Árpád of Austria had eight children. She is survived by seven of her children and their families.

Kate Spade

Kate Spade, one of the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite fashion designers, died in June at the age of 55.

Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge is very fond of Ms Spade’s label and often wears her outfits to official engagements.

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She was last spotted wearing a Kate Spade design in November 2017 when she visited The Foundling Museum in London.

Within hours of appearing at the engagement, the dress sold out.

Senteni Masango

Senteni Masango, the eighth wife of Africa’s last absolute monarch, died in April after taking her own life.

Only a week before her death, her sister Nombuso Masango had been buried, but she was reportedly not allowed to attend the memorial service nor the funeral. She was rumoured to have been living alone in a mansion without visits from her husband. She was chosen as his eighth bride at the age of 18 in September 1999.

Following her death, a vigil was held at the Ludzidzini royal residence