_. The Lord Vestey, GCVO, GCStJ, DL, the billionaire courtier 3rd Baron, died 4 February, 2021, aged 79,
A friend of The Queen and former Cheltenham Racecourse chairman Lord Vestey was Master of the Horse, 1999-2019, and a Lord in Waiting
His late wife Celia, who died in November last year, was one of six godparents the Prince and Princess of Wales selected for Prince Harry. She and Sam Vestey were members of the Queen's inner circle.
Lord Vestey had a great influence on sport at the Home of Jump Racing. While he served as chairman from 1990 until 2011, the Cheltenham Festival was extended from three to four days, which includes the feature Gold Cup on the Friday. The peer owned and bred Karshi, the winner of the 1997 Stayers' Hurdle at the meeting.
He was born Samuel George Armstrong Vestey, 19 March, 1941, the son Capt the Hon William Vestey [1912-44], and his wife the former Helen Pamela Fullerton Melba Armstrong, and succeeded to the peerage [created in 1922], and the baronetcy [created in 1913], on the death of his grandfather, the 2nd Baron, 4 May, 1954.
He married firstly, 11 September, 1970 [divorced 1981] Kathryn Mary Eccles [died 13 Dec, 2017], daughter of John Eccles, of Moor Park, co Hertford. He married 2ndly, 22 Dec, 1981, Celia Elizabeth Knight [who died 28 Nov, 2020], a close friend of the Queen and Prince of Wales, a member of their 'racing circle', a daughter of Major [Hubert] Guy Broughton Knight, MC [1917-93], head of that landed gentry family, of Lockinge Manor, Wantage, and his wife the former Hester Loyd [1920-2002], scion of the Loyds of Lockinge. Celia's elder sister, Henrietta [born in 1946], is the retired English Thoroughbred racehorse trainer, best known as a trainer of National Hunt racehorses, wife of Terry Biddlecombe [1941-2014], the champion jockey.
From his first marriage Lord Vestey leaves two daughters, the Hon Saffron Idiens [born 27 Aug, 1971], and the Hon Flora Hall [born 22 Sept, 1978], and from his second marriage, he leaves two sons, the Hon William, and the Hon Arthur [born 1985], and a daughter, the Hon Mary Vestey [born 1992].
The elder son, the Hon William Guy Vestey [born 27 August, 1983], a former Page of Honour to the Queen, now succeeds to the peerage and baronetcy. He is married to Violet Henderson [born 1985], scion of the Barons Faringdon, and has a son and a daughter.