Queen Elizabeth's close childhood friend Lady Myra Butter has died.
The 96-year-old British monarch's dear friend, a cousin of her late husband Prince Philip, passed away "peacefully" on July 29, a notice of her death confirmed in The Daily Telegraph newspaper.
A descendent of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia and playwright Alexander Pushkin, Butter remained close to the queen.
Last year, Butter shared fond memories of growing up with the 96-year-old royal and their days of swimming and being the Brownies and Guides.
She said of their swimming lessons: "The Queen said it's a very long time ago.
"Well, it jolly well is, I think I was 12. I'm rather lucky in that department. My memory is good and so is hers."
She added: "They got hold of some girls to be part of the thing to make it more fun.
"In the Guides and the Brownies it was a real mixture, which was really nice, some friends, friends of [the family], and all the people in the royal mews, their children, they were Brownies and Guides. Just a normal sort of pack really."
Butter said her lifelong friend has a "very good sense of humour, which has gone on for all her life."
The Duke of Edinburgh - the longest-serving consort of a British monarch - passed away in April 2021, aged 99.
Months after her husband's death, the queen mourned the loss of two of her ladies-in-waiting.
In December last year, she lost Ann Fortune FitzRoy, the Duchess of Grafton, who served as the monarch's Mistress of Robes - a role which put her in charge of all matters relating to the queen's jewellery and clothes, as well as arranging the rota of attendance for ladies-in-waiting, and other duties at state ceremonies - from 1967 until her death on December 3, 2021, aged 101.
Diana Maxwell, Lady Farnham, who was the queen's lady of the bedchamber for 34 years, was 90 when she passed away on December 29.
The monarch spoke about personal heartbreak during her Christmas speech.
She said in her TV message to the nation: "Of course for many, this time of year will be tinged with sadness - some mourning the loss of those dear to them and others missing friends and family members distanced for safety, when all they really want for Christmas is a simple hug or a squeeze of the hand.
"If you are among them, you are not alone, and let me assure you of my thoughts and prayers."