Queen mourns death of close friend Sir Timothy Colman

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The Queen with  Sir Timothy Colman at a Garden Party for East Anglia at Sandringham House in 2002 (PA)
The Queen with Sir Timothy Colman at a Garden Party for East Anglia at Sandringham House in 2002 (PA)

The Queen is mourning one of her closest friends Sir Timothy Colman who has died aged 91.

Sir Timothy, a descendant of the Colman’s mustard family, passed away on Thursday at his Bixley Manor home near Norwich.

The Royal Navy hero was a regular guest at Her Majesty’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

He became related to the Queen in 1951 when he married her first cousin Lady Mary Colman, sparking a friendship that would span almost seven decades.

Lady Mary was the eldest daughter of Michael Bowes-Lyon, the Queen Mother’s brother, and much of her childhood was spent with the young Princess Elizabeth.

She passed away peacefully at home on January 2 at the age of 88.

Their deaths follow a particularly mournful year for the Queen after she lost her beloved husband Prince Philip in April.

Who is Sir Timothy Colman?

Sir Timothy was born in Norfolk in 1929 and lived a remarkable life as a sailor, businessman, Patron of the Arts and “one of Norfolk’s favourite sons.”

During his life, he became a trusted influence in the Queen’s life and was appointed a Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk.

He held the role from 1978 to 2004 as a representative of the Queen in the area, presenting awards on her behalf, hosting royal visits and participating in engagements.

Sir Timothy and Lady Mary had five children, sons James and Matthew and daughters, Sabrina, Emma and Sarah.

They wed at St Bartholomew-the-Great at Smithfields in London, attended by The Queen, Queen Mother and Princess Margaret.

The couple spent their early married life in Dorset with Sir Timothy serving in the Royal Navy as a midshipman, then a second lieutenant on HMS Frobsiher and Indefatigable.

He also served abroad in Malta and in the Mediterranean, including in Palestine in 1948.

Aged 32, he launched an appeal to create a university in Norwich, raising £1.3m a year later, and the University of East Anglia was formed.

Chris Sargisson, chief executive of Norfolk Chambers, said: “Sir Timothy was a champion of Norfolk and its people.

“He was hugely influential and was instrumental in the forming of the University of East Anglia.

“Sir Timothy has played a leading role in the Norfolk business community for many decades.”

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