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23 Jan 2024
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Jane Barbara Findlay
(25 Sep 1928 – 1 Sep 2009)

The Earl and Countess of Westmorland

Not many girls would have turned down the offer of marriage from the Duke of Westminster, but Jane Findlay did, and became instead a countess rather than a duchess, and in due course a close friend of HM the Queen.

She is not however the first Countess of Westmorland to feature in OrnaVerum as her husband's grandmother Sybil Mary Fane (née St Clair-Erskine) was an earlier holder of the title.


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Jane Countess of Westmorland (1928-2009)

Jane Countess of Westmorland, who died 1 September, 2009, was one of the Queen's oldest friends and widow of HM's Master of the Horse, the 15th Earl of Westmorland.

She was born Jane Barbara Findlay, 25 September 1928, a daughter of Lt.-Col. Sir Roland Lewis Findlay, 3rd Baronet, by his wife the former Barbara Joan Garrard.

She married 20 Jun 1950, David Anthony Thomas Fane, 15th Earl of Westmorland, GCVO (1924-1993), son of Lt.-Cdr. Vere Anthony Francis St. Clair Fane, 14th Earl of Westmorland by his wife the former Hon. Diana Lister (see Ribblesdale B, Ext). Her home was The Old Vicarage, Badminton, Gloucestershire.

Her husband was a Lord in Waiting to HM and served as Master of the Horse from 1978 to 1991 when he retired due to ill health.

She is survived by two sons, (i) Anthony David Francis Henry Fane, 16th Earl of Westmorland (b 1 Aug 1951); and (ii) the Hon. Harry St. Clair Fane (b 19 Mar 1953), and (i) the Lady Camilla Diana Fane (b 26 Dec 1957).

Michael Rhodes.


8 Sep 2009

The Queen is mourning the death of her great friend Jane, Dowager Countess of Westmorland, a noted beauty who turned heads in her youth. Sixty years ago, the then Jane Findlay was courted by the Duke of Marlborough, but she dumped him for the Earl of Westmorland, later the Queen's Master of the Horse, and they married in 1950.

In the Seventies, the Earl of Snowdon became enamoured of her and tried to cut in while she was dancing with the Queen Mother's trainer Peter Cazalet at a party.

Cazalet, however, declined to move aside, observing to Snowdon: 'This is not America.'

Later, it was reported, Lord Snowdon took his revenge by throwing two glasses of wine over his rival - one white, one red.

Michael Rhodes