Ruth Fermoy
British lady-in-waiting and baroness
Ruth Fermoy
Ruth Roche, Baroness Fermoy, DCVO, OBE, was a friend and confidante of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and the maternal grandmother of Lady Diana Spencer, later Princess of Wales. Lady Fermoy was born Ruth Sylvia Gill at her father's house, Dalhebity, Bieldside, Aberdeenshire, the daughter of Colonel William Smith Gill and his wife Ruth (the daughter of David Littlejohn).
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  • 1993
    Age 84
    Died on July 6, 1993.
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  • 1969
    Age 60
    In 1969, her daughter Frances and John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, were divorced.
    More Details Hide Details Lady Fermoy testified against Frances, allowing Lord Spencer to retain custody of his children. Lady Fermoy died at her home at 36 Eaton Square, London, aged 84. It was reported that she was not on speaking terms with Diana when she died.
  • 1956
    Age 47
    In 1956, the Queen Mother appointed Lady Fermoy an Extra Woman of the Bedchamber.
    More Details Hide Details The Queen Mother, being a widow herself, showed a preference for appointing widows to her household, and four years later Ruth, Lady Fermoy, was promoted to Woman of the Bedchamber, a post she held for the next 33 years. The Queen Mother and Lady Fermoy became confidantes, and it was assumed by many that the two women engineered the match between Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer. However, when asked about it, Lady Fermoy remarked: "You can say that if you like – but it simply wouldn't be true". She was also said to have counselled her granddaughter against the marriage, saying "Darling, you must understand that their sense of humour and their lifestyle are different, and I don't think it will suit you." Lady Fermoy was a firm believer in the sanctity of marriage.
  • 1951
    Age 42
    She founded the King's Lynn Festival in 1951 and remained closely involved with the Festival for 25 years, persuading Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother to become its patron.
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  • 1950
    Age 41
    Lady Fermoy did play the piano in public occasionally after her marriage, most notably with Josef Krips at the Royal Albert Hall in 1950, and with Sir John Barbirolli and the Hallé Orchestra at King's Lynn in 1966.
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  • 1931
    Age 22
    Her musical career was cut short when she met, and later married in 1931, the wealthy and much older Edmund Roche, 4th Baron Fermoy.
    More Details Hide Details They had three children which included her younger daughter, Frances.
  • 1908
    Born on October 2, 1908.
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