Lady Myra Butter, who was a close friend of the Queen, 96, since childhood, died “peacefully” on July 29, according to a notice published in The Daily Telegraph. She was 97.
After meeting in childhood, the Queen and Lady Myra remained good friends throughout their lives. The Queen and her sister, Princess Margaret, attended Lady Myra’s wedding to Major David Butter in 1946.
Last year, Lady Myra spoke to The Telegraph about her relationship with the Queen, recalling how they took swimming lessons together.
“The Queen said it’s a very long time ago,” she told the newspaper after seeing an old photo from the bath club. “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.”
Lady Myra was one of several girls tapped by Buckingham Palace to join the then-Princess Elizabeth in various activities.
“They got hold of some girls to be part of the thing to make it more fun,” Lady Myra said. “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.”
Lady Myra, who is also a cousin of Prince Philip’s, noted that the Queen had a “very good sense of humor, which has gone on for all her life.”
After saying goodbye to her husband of 73 years in April 2021, Queen Elizabeth also mourned the deaths of two ladies-in-waiting late last year. Diana Maxwell, Lady Farnham, who served as the Queen’s lady of the bedchamber for 34 years, died at age 90 on Dec. 29, according to The Telegraph.
Just weeks earlier, another one of the Queen’s ladies-in-waiting — Ann Fortune FitzRoy, the Duchess of Grafton — died on Dec. 3. The Duchess of Grafton served as the monarch’s Mistress of the Robes from 1967 until her death at age 101.
Despite her recent losses, the monarch has a close-knit crew of friends and loyal staffers that she can call on.
She has friends around for dinners and evening TV-watching. She is rarely alone, with loyal servants like personal aide Angela Kelly and longstanding footman Paul Whybrew on hand most days. Inside the so-called “bubble” at the castle, it is a happy place, sources said.
An insider previously told PEOPLE Royals: “Those who are in it cherish their place. They are a support for the Queen and someone that she can have a laugh with and with whom she can talk about the issues of the day.”
Added a close insider, “Whatever her private grief is, she wants to get on in as cheerful a way as possible.”