Funeral details released for maid-of-honour at Queen’s Coronation in 1953 and tireless charity campaigner - Lady Moyra Campbell

Tributes have been paid to Lady Moyra Campbell after her death in a NI Nursing Home.

By Gemma Murray
Tuesday, 10th November 2020, 8:13 pm
Lady Moyra Campbell - Randalstown Cultural Awareness Association
Lady Moyra Campbell - Randalstown Cultural Awareness Association

Lady Moyra - who lived with her husband Commander Peter Campbell in Hollybrook House in Randalstown, died on November 8 at Somme Nursing Home in Belfast.

Once a maid-of-honour to the Queen at her Coronation, Lady Moyra, was one of Co Antrim’s most decorated citizens.

Her funeral notice says that ‘due to the current public health crisis, the funeral will be restricted to family members only’ and that she will be sadly missed by her husband, sons Rory an Michael, daughters in law, grandchildren, and wider family circle.

But adds: “If you wish to pay your respects to Lady Moyra, contact Marrion’s Funeral Directors to arrange a time and please adhere to the guidelines set in place and maintain social distancing”.

And a post on Randalstown Cultural Awareness Association Facebook page says: “Most residents in Randalstown remember her walking freely about the town always smiling and politely talking to everyone she passed whilst out and about doing her shopping.

“Renowned for being in her wax jacket, wellie boots on and a wicker shopping basket until she took unwell.

“Lady Campbell spent the end of her life in the Somme Nursing Home in Belfast.

The Queen's Coronation Day - pic from Randalstown Cultural Awareness Association

“We send our condolences to the immediate and wider family circle”.

Lady Moyra Campbell had been the President of Cancer Fund for Children for many years.

CEO of the charity, Phil Alexander, said: “We are deeply saddened that our President, Lady Moyra Campbell has passed away.

“Lady Moyra was passionate about supporting young people across Ireland impacted by cancer and proud of the work we do at Cancer Fund for Children to help vulnerable families.

©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 25th May 2012 Lady Moya Campbell pictured at Broughshane house with the dress that she wore at the Queens coronation Mandatory Credit - Picture by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye.com

“She was always so kind and generous with her time and keen to support our fundraising.

“In 2012, Lady Moyra who was one of the Queen’s six maid of honours, put the beautiful Norman Hartnell gown she wore at the Queen’s coronation on display to raise vital funds to support children in need.

“She will be greatly missed by everyone at Cancer Fund for Children. Our thoughts are with her family at this difficult time.”

Lady Moyra Campbell was also Honorary President of Early Years.

Pauline Walmsley, Chief Executive Officer of Early Years, who worked with Lady Moyra as President for over 20 years said: “We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to Commander Peter Campbell, her husband and their sons Rory and Michael (affectionately known as Mouse) and the wider family circle at this time.”

Daughter of the Marquess of Hamilton, later 4th Duke of Abercorn and a Maid of Honour at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Lady Moyra became President of NIPPA in 1975.

“I am honoured to have worked with Lady Moyra Campbell who exemplified the humble selfless qualities of volunteers across Northern Ireland who support services for children,” said Ms Walmsley.

“Moyra truly led by example and relished the opportunity to visit services highlighting the work of communities for children. She was also highly respected internationally and was actively engaged in our work in the International Network for Peacebuilding with young children. A true champion for children.”

In 2012 Lady Moyra spoke to the News Letter about her duties at the Queen’s Coronation on June 2, 1953.

Then a tireless champion of several charities including the NSPCC, Lady Moyra had received her invitation from the then Duke of Norfolk, who was the Earl Marshall.

She then said: “His team were meticulous about arranging everything for the day.

“The day ran like clockwork from beginning to end.

“I was just bowled over by the whole thing.

“Because you knew it was being televised you felt the walls of that building were transparent and people were sharing it with you.”

Lady Moyra - who was 81-years at the time of the interview - also said she would never forget the “age-old ceremony and deep commitment and religious aspect, and the utter dedication of the Queen making those very solemn promises”.

On Coronation Day, Westminster Abbey – a place Lady Moyra felt that she knew intimately – “looked totally different with all the light”.

Lady Moyra said on the day she had to stand for three hours, but the day “just passed like that because it was so deeply interesting”.

“It was a three-hour service but it didn’t seem that long, ” she then said.

“A surgeon had told me that during long operations they stood on the outside of their feet and then back onto the inside – I did that and I don’t remember feeling tired. And because the whole thing had been so amazingly well rehearsed, our job was not all that difficult.”

The mother-of-two then added that she did not believe anyone could be more dedicated to her duty than the Queen.

___________________________________________________________

A message from our editor: Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper.

You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.