Buckingham Covers - First Day Covers

Duchess Fortune FitzRoy

 

Ann Fortune FitzRoy, Duchess of Grafton GCVO (born Ann Fortune Smith; 24th February 1920) was a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth II between 1953 and 1966 and has been Mistress of the Robes since 1967.

She was born as Ann Fortune Smith, the daughter of Captain Evan Cadogan Eric Smith, born in 1894, and his wife Beatrice Williams. Her younger brother, Sir John Smith, was a financier with the family bank (formerly Smith's Bank of Nottingham, later the National Provincial Bank and then part of NatWest), a Conservative MP, and the founder of the Landmark Trust. She has another younger brother, Jeremy Fox Eric Smith (b. 1928).

On 12 October 1946 Ann Fortune FitzRoy married the then Earl of Euston, son of Charles Alfred Euston Fitzroy, 10th Duke of Grafton, and his wife Lady Doreen Maria Josepha Sydney Buxton. Together they had five children.

In 1970, Hugh Fitzroy, Earl of Euston succeeded his father as 11th Duke of Grafton, whereupon she became Duchess of Grafton. The Dukes of Grafton are direct decendants of the 1st Duke of Grafton, the illegitimate son of King Charles II by his mistress Barbara Villiers. The FitzRoys are thus a direct but illegitimate line of the House of Stuart.

In April 2011, the Duchess of Grafton was widowed when her husband, Hugh 11th Duke of Grafton died. He was succeeded as Duke by their grandson Henry FitzRoy, Viscount Ipswich, who bacame the 12th Duke of Grafton (their son and previeous heir James, Earl of Euston had died in 2009). Fortune FitzRoy is therefore now correctly titled Dowager Duchess of Grafton, as her granddaughter-in-law is now the Duchess of Grafton.

 

Collectables Signed By Duchess Fortune FitzRoy