Queen’s heartbreak as closest friend Sir Timothy Colman dies aged 91

THE QUEEN is mourning one of her closest friends, Sir Timothy Colman – who has died at the age of 91.

Sir Timothy, the husband of the Queen's first cousin Lady Mary Colman, was a frequent guest at Sandringham and close friend of Her Majesty.

He passed away on September 9 surrounded by his family, at his home at Bixley Manor, near Norwich.

His death comes after Lady Mary passed away at home on January 2 at the age of 88.

Mourning his loss, his family said: "He was a fount of knowledge , a huge influence on a number of people of all ages, who sought his wise counsel.

"He had a love and huge knowledge of the natural world, but, most importantly he loved his family.

"With his late wife Mary, he created the happiest of family homes at Bixley Manor."

At the time of her death, Lady Mary's obituary read: “Lady Mary Cecilia died peacefully at home on Saturday 2 January 2021, aged 88.

"Most dearly loved wife of Sir Timothy Colman KG, adored mother of Sarah, Sabrina, Emma, James and Matthew, grandmother of ten, great-grandmother of sixteen.

“Private family funeral and a Service of Thanksgiving for Mary's life to be held at a later date.”

Lady Mary married British businessman Sir Timothy Colman in 1951 at just 19-years-old.

And The Queen, Queen Mother and Princess Margaret all attended her wedding at St Bartholomew-the-Great at Smithfields in London.

Lady Mary and Sir Timothy, of the Colman Mustard family, had five children – sons James and Matthew and daughters, Sabrina, Emma and Sarah.

She was a Lady-in-Waiting to Princess Alexandra, was born in 1932 to Captain Michael Bowes Lyon and Elizabeth Margaret Cator.


Captain Bowes-Lyon was one of the Queen Mother's four brothers making her first cousin of the Queen.

Sir Timothy served in the Royal Navy as a midshipman, then a second lieutenant on HMS Frobsiher and Indefatigable – and he served abroad in Malta and in the Mediterranean, including in Palestine in 1948.

The couple's early married life was spent in Dorset, with Sir Timothy serving in the Royal Navy at Portland.

He then went on to be Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk for more than 25 years.

At the age of 32, Sir Timothy launched an appeal to create a university in Norwich – and a year later £1.3m had been raised and the University of East Anglia was then built.

The deaths of Sir and Lady Colman follow a particularly mournful year for Her Majesty after she lost her beloved husband Prince Philip in April.

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