Who was Lady Myra Butter? Queen Elizabeth's childhood pal and closest friend dies at 97
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. she was regarded as a member of both Her Majesty's and Prince Philip's inner circle. Lady Butter, a Scottish-born woman who is survived by five children, is a direct descendant of Alexander Pushkin, a playwright, novelist, and poet, as well as Tsar Nicholas I of Russia.
Lady Butter became friends with the Queen when they were both young girls after being persuaded to participate in a variety of childhood activities with her, including going to Brownies meetings and swimming. When the Queen was still a princess in 1937, Myra joined Elizabeth in the first Buckingham Palace Company of Girl Guides. Last year, Lady Myra looked back on her role in the Girl Guides, telling The Telegraph: "They got hold of some girls to be part of the thing to make it more fun. 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 Butter maintained a close relationship with Her Majesty and Philip, to whom she delivered a lovely tribute upon his passing at the age of 99 last year. She said that without her husband, the Queen would be ‘lost’. Speaking of the Duke of Edinburgh, she explained at that time: "There's nobody, in my mind, who could have done that job. Nobody. Dedicated to it, and very intelligent and youthful. He was a step behind walking, but he was never a step behind as a person."
Earlier this year, she handed back the Pushkin medal, which had been awarded to her by President Vladimir Putin for bringing Russian and Scottish schoolchildren together in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Lady Butter stated that she was returning the honor ‘with great regret.’ The royal also lost two more close friends: the Duchess of Grafton and Lady Farnham, only a few months prior to the tragic news.
Since 1987, according to the Daily Mail, Lady Farnham has served as the monarch's Lady of the Bedchamber while serving as her lady-in-waiting. She has been a longtime supporter of the Queen, most prominently during the 2021 Diamond Jubilee festivities when she substituted for Prince Philip, who was ill and unable to attend. Her passing came only a few weeks after the Duchess of Grafton, another of the Queen's ladies in waiting with whom she had a strong friendship. The deaths of Lady Farnham and the Duchess of Grafton happened at the conclusion of the Queen's difficult year in 2017, which many referred to as her second 'annus horribilis.'