Sir Michael Oswald, former-manager of the Royal Studs, has died aged 86.
His widow, Lady Angela, who served as a lady-in-waiting to the Queen Mother, paid tribute to her husband who had “the most wonderful job”.
“He always said he had the most wonderful job anybody could ever have had and that for all his working life he was simply doing what he would have done had he been a rich man who didn’t have to work,” she said, according to the Racing Post.
Sir Michael became manager of the Royal Studs in 1970 and remained in the position for almost 30 years.
He also acted as racing manager to the Queen Mother and following her death he became jumps advisor to the Queen.
John Warren, the Queen’s racing advisor, told the Racing Post: “Sir Michael did a magnificent job managing the Royal Studs for so long. He was deeply committed to the studs, the Queen, and the Queen Mother. He was extraordinarily enthusiastic and got such a buzz out of all the royal winners.”
Horse trainer Nicky Henderson added Sir Micheal had “the most amazing twinkle and such a lovely impish air about him”.
“He really was the most lovely man and came out with such wonderfully witty lines. He had a marvelous military background and always referred to his wife, Lady Angela, as the commanding officer,” he added.
“He was very close to the Queen and the Queen Mother and loved his role with their horses.”
In 2002 Sir Michael revealed the stories of the Queen Mother gambling and drinking were either untrue or wildly exaggerated.
“As far as I know, she never had a bet,” he said at the time. “The myth started because her late private secretary, Sir Martin Gilliatt, who was a most amusing man and also very keen on racing, used to make jokes about their ‘heavy betting’.
“He suggested he had lost a fortune, but for £500,000 read £5 for him and nothing for the Queen Mother. I am as certain as I can be that she never had a bet.”