Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Sir [William Richard] Michael Oswald, GCVO 1934-2021

 _.Sir Michael Oswald, GCVO, who died 17 April, 2021, aged 86, was sometime manager of the Royal Studs who advised the Queen and the Queen Mother and presided over their racing interests. He was head of the landed family of that name.

Sir Michael was Racing Manager to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother from 1970 until her death in 2002, and was National Hunt Racing adviser to Queen Elizabeth II from 2003.

William Richard Michael Oswald was born 21 April, 1934, son of Lieutenant-Colonel William Alexander Hugh Oswald, ERD [1905-74], and his wife the former Rose-Marie Leahy [1907-85]; and married 21 April, 1958, the Lady Angela Mary Rose Cecil, CVO [born 21 May, 1938], a Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, scion of the Marquesses of Exeter, youngest daughter of the 6th Marquess of Exeter [1905-81], and his wife the former Lady Mary Theresa Montagu Douglas Scott [1904-84], daughter of the 7th Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry [1864-1935].

He is survived by Lady Angela and a son William Alexander Michael [b 1962] who succeeds as head of the landed gentry family,  and a daughter, Katharine, Lady Matheson, wife of Lt-Col Sir Alexander Matheson, 8th Baronet.

The Times obituary contains the following anecdote: "One morning he [Oswald] made his usual call to [The Queen's] page, Barry Mitford, at Buckingham Palace to say that Harvest Song was running in the 2.30 at Fontwell ... “Barry got rather excited at this, asking will it win and should he have a flutter,...I told him under no circumstances should he waste any money on it....” Harvest Song ... won by five and a half lengths. When Oswald called the Queen to ask if she had watched the race, she replied: “Oh yes, and may I say that Barry is standing next to me. If I were you, I would find some dark glasses and a good disguise next time [you] come anywhere near this place.”

Oswald was appointed LVO in 1979, advanced to CVO in 1988, KCVO in 1998, and GCVO in 2020.


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