The Queen looked sombre today as she attended the funeral of her close friend Jeanie, Countess of Carnarvon, at Highclere Castle in Newbury.
The service for the 83-year-old, who was the widow of the 7th Earl of Carnarvon and former custodian of the castle, more famously known as Downton Abbey from the Emmy Award-winning drama series, was held at Highclere Parish Church of Saint Michaels and All Angels.
Her Majesty opted for a stylish monochrome look for the sad occasion, wearing a chic black coat with an assymetric white neckline and sleeve detail.
Her Majesty opted for a stylish monochrome look for the sad occasion, wearing a chic black coat with an assymetric white neckline and sleeve detail
The Queen looked sombre today as she attended the funeral of her close friend Jeanie, Countess of Carnarvon in Highclere, Newbury.
The Queen, pictured beside Jeanie holding her eldest son George Reginald Oliver Molyneux Herbert – her 17th and final godchild – at his christening in 1956. To her left is Jeanie’s husband Lord Porchester
The 93-year-old monarch greeted Jeanie’s son and her godson George Herbert, the current Earl Of Carnarvon, and his wife Fiona Lady Carnarvon outside the church.
The countess, who was founder and President of the Newbury Spring Festival, passed away on April 11.
Jeanie was born Jean Margaret Wallop at Big Horn, Sheridan, Wyoming on April 29 1935 – the daughter of Oliver Wallop and Jean, née Moore.
The countess was part English, part American. Her paternal grandfather, Oliver Henry Wallop, married Marguerite Walker of Kentucky while working as a ranger in the US state, but came back to England in 1925, suceeding his brother, who was unmarried, as 8th Earl of Portsmouth in 1925.
Jeanie had two brothers – one of whom, Malcolm, was a Republican senator for Wyoming three times – and a little sister. Her mother Jean Moore, an heiress from New York, died when she was seven in 1943.
The 93-year-old monarch greeted Jeanie’s son and her godson George Herbert, the current Earl Of Carnarvon, and his wife Fiona Lady Carnarvon outside the church
The Queen and Jeanie, then Lady Porchester, pictured studying the races at Epsom Derby Day in 1976
Jeanie was born Jean Margaret Wallop at Big Horn, Sheridan, Wyoming on April 29 1935 – the daughter of Oliver Wallop and Jean, née Moore
Andrew Parker Bowles, former husband of Camilla Parker Bowles, was also in attendance to pay his respects
Jeanie met her husband Henry Herbert, or Lord Porchester, at Uckfield House in Sussex – the residence of her cousin Lady Rupert Nevill, a childhood friend of The Queen.
Her husband, Lord Rupert Charles Montecute Nevill, was a member of the aristocratic Nevill Family and Treasurer and subsequently Private Secretary to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, between 1970 and 1982.
Jeanie and Henry married in 1956 in St James Episcopal Church, Madison Avenue. They returned to the UK and went on to have three children – George (Geordie), the current Earl of Carnarvon, in 1956; Henry (Harry), born in 1959, and Carolyn, born in 1962, who is married to John Warren, currently bloodstock adviser to the Queen.
The service for the 83-year-old, who was the widow of the 7th Earl of Carnarvon and custodian of Highclere Castle, more famously known as ‘Downton Abbey’ from the Emmy Award-winning drama series, was held at Highclere Parish Church of Saint Michaels and All Angels
The Queen pictured with Jeanie’s three children; from left to right: George (Geordie), the current Earl of Carnarvon, in 1956; Henry (Harry), born in 1959, and Carolyn, born in 1962
John and Caroline Warren, pictured left, and the Earl and Lady Carnarvon, right, at the Funeral of Jeanie, Countess of Carnarvon in Highclere today
The Queen, pictured with Jake Warren, Jeanie’s grandson and son of Lady Carolyn, as she leaves the church
Jeanie’s husband, the late Lord Porchester, had been part of the Princess Margaret set in the early 1950s and was a lifelong friend of The Queen.
He became the Queen’s racing manager in 1969, and Her Majesty regularly stayed with he and Jeanie at Milford Lake House, where they continued to live after Henry succeeded as 7th Earl of Carnarvon in 1987.
When Lord Carnarvon died in 2001, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip flew down from Balmoral to attend his funeral.
Jeanie and The Queen remained close friends, and she invited her to a concert in Newbury to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Spring Festival.
After losing her husband, Jeanie moved from Milford Lake House to a house near the stud farm at Highclere.
The Queen, pictured greeting a mourner at the service today, and Jeanie remained close friends after she became a widow in 2001
Queen Elizabeth greets the vicar along with John and Caroline Warren outside the church today
Barbadian-British horse trainer Sir Michael Stout attended the ceremony at Highclere Castle
The history of Highclere Castle
Highclere Castle, which became colloquially known as Downton Abbey thanks to the ITV hit series
The current Lord and Lady Carnarvon reside full time at the stunning Highclere Castle where the six series of the hit ITV show Downton Abbey were filmed.
The first written records of the estate date back to 749 when an Anglo-Saxon King granted the estate to the Bishops of Winchester. Bishop William of Wykeham built a beautiful medieval palace and gardens on the park.
Later on, the palace was rebuilt as Highclere Place House in 1679 when it was purchased by Sir Robert Sawyer, Attorney General to Charles II and James II and direct grandfather of the current Earl.
In 1771, ‘Capability’ Brown made plans for the alteration of the grounds, water and symmetrical Georgian house at Highclere for the 1st Earl of Carnarvon.
In 1842, Sir Charles Barry – who was also working on the Houses of Parliament at the time – finished his final designs for the 3rd Earl of Carnarvon, transforming Highclere Place House into Highclere Castle.
The Countess’ research has revealed that, in 1867, the Constitution of Canada was drawn up in the British North America Act by 4th Earl of Carnarvon and John A. Macdonald, later the first Prime Minister of Canada.
Highclere was used as a hospital for two years until 1916 but as the war gained momentum, the medical equipment was moved to London to cope with rising casualties.
In 1922, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon discovered Tutankhamen’s Tomb with trusted colleague and friend Howard Carter.
Throughout WWII, Highclere Castle was home to evacuees, whose names you can see etched into the roof lead. During the conflict, military planes from four nations crashed on the Highclere Estate whilst on active service.
The current Earl’s father was the Queen’s racing manager from 1969 until his death in 2001.
Today, the Castle is home to the 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon.