Queen Elizabeth Makes Rare Appearance at a Close Friend’s Funeral

Erin Hill

While Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry attended Anzac Day events, Queen Elizabeth had another somber occasion to mark.

The Queen attended the funeral of her good friend Jeanie, Countess of Carnarvon on Thursday.

The monarch, who is rarely ever seen in anything but bright colors, dressed in a black coat dress with white trim and a matching hat for the service, which was held at St. Michael and All Angels Church in Highclere (about an 1.5 hours west of London).

It is rare for the Queen to attend a funeral, as she normally sends a member of the royal family or someone else close to her as a representative, so the monarch’s appearance at the event speaks to her relationship with the late countess.


Jeanie, 83, and the Queen, 93, were close friends. Jeanie’s late husband Henry, the 7th Earl of Carnarvon — or Lord Porchester — was the Queen’s horse racing manager. He was even featured in a storyline on The Crown.

Porchie, as he was affectionately known, “was a sensitive, quiet man who shared her passion for horses,” Robert Lacey, a royal historian and consultant to the series, previously told PEOPLE. “He was on the same wavelength.”

The Queen (right) and Lady Porchester | Daily Mail/REX/Shutterstock
Lady Porchester | Davis/ANL/REX/Shutterstock

RELATED: The Truth About Queen Elizabeth’s Close Relationship with Racing Manager ‘Porchie’ Porchester

Queen Elizabeth was greeted by her godson, Jeanie’s son George Herbert, the Earl of Carnarvon outside the church. Jeanie’s two other children Harry and Carolyn were also in attendance.

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Jeanie, who was half American and half British, was the founder and President of the Newbury Spring Festival. She died on April 11.