The tragic death of Queen Elizabeth’s childhood friend, Lady Myra Butter

Queen Elizabeth has had a difficult few years. It wasn’t long ago that her husband Prince Philip died in April 2021 – just a month after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gave their explosive Oprah interview. She had to strip her second son, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York – once believed to be her favorite – of his title in January amid allegations of sexual assault in connection with his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. She contracted COVID-19 in February and recovered, but had to miss several performances, including part of her anniversary celebration. She also lost two of her ladies-in-waiting in December 2021, per Us Weekly: Diana Maxwell, Lady Farnham, died aged 90, and Fortune FitzRoy, the Duchess of Grafton, died at 101. Now People is reporting the death of the Queen’s close childhood friend, Lady Myra Butter, on July 29. She was 97 years old.

Lady Butter’s parents were Sir Harold and Lady Zia Wernher, descendants of Grand Duke Mikhailovich of Russia. According to Newsweek, she was related to Russian Tsar Nicholas I and Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. Vladimir Putin decreed that she be awarded a Pushkin Medal in 2018 for her work in uniting Scottish and Russian schoolchildren, but she returned the medal when Putin launched his attack on Ukraine.

Lady Butter and Queen Elizabeth began their friendship at a young age and spent much of their lives in each other’s company.

Lady Butter loved the Queen’s humor

Queen Elizabeth and Lady Myra Butter have known each other since childhood when they were both Buckingham Palace’s Girl Guides group, which is the British version of Girl Scouts. Elizabeth was 11 and Lady Butter 12 when it was founded in 1937. Lady Butter told The Telegraph in 2021: “With the guides and the brownies it was a real mix which was really nice, some friends, friends of [the family], and all the people in the royal stables, their children, they were brownies and guides. Just a normal kind of pack really.”

Lady Butter was also a cousin of Prince Philip, and he, along with Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, attended Lady Myra’s wedding to Major David Butter in 1946, according to People. Lady Butter praised the Queen, noting to The Telegraph that her pal never lost her “very good sense of humour”. And when Philip died, she confided to ITV (via The Sun) how the loss was “incalculable” for the Queen.

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As news of her death spread, tributes poured in. The royal biographer Jane Dismore tweeted“Lady Butter – Myra, as she pointed out – was lovely and a great help when I was researching my book.” Another well-wisher said“Oh, she was a wonderful woman, so lovely, amusing, didn’t tolerate fools and so kind to a teenager who met her with his grandmother.” Yet another spoke for many than she tweeted“That would have to be one of the saddest parts of growing old… [Losing] all.” At least they all lived wonderfully long lives.