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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Duke Of Bedford - my sad loss by Diamond on 14 June 2003 3:34pm
This is just to say that the 14th Duke of Bedford of Woburn Abbey, passed away in his sleep yesterday aged 63, after suffering a stroke.

For those in the Uk and possibly abroad, the life of the Russell Family was broadcast in a series on BBC called 'Country House' which gave us an interesting insight into the daily life of the Russell family as well as the running of the Woburn Estate in Bedfordshire.

We saw how the running of the estate was passed to Andrew, Lord Howland, who is now the 15th Duke of Bedford.

As Lord Tavistock, Henry Russell as he was then - (until the death last November of his father the 13th Duke, who lived in France,) - I saw a man who overcame a massive stroke, who went through major heart surgery. Following the stroke, Henry Russell (Lord Tavistcok) battled with aphasia which is a problem with speech, in that you know the word but the mind will not let you say it, so all his public speaking engagements went to his wife Lady Henrietta or son Lord Howland.

In the programmes on BBC, we saw a warm hearted loveable person (Lord T) - who believe it or not took great pleasure in drinking a Mc Donalds strawberry milkshake, his wife would drive down to the local McD to get one for him (none of your airs and graces for them, in sending a servant to fetch it!!) Bless HIm he was such a sweetie and I adored him.

Lord Tavistock's father - who only died last November and passed the title of Duke on to Lord T -(as he was affectionately known on TV by the narrator)opened Woburn up to the public to pay off death duties many years ago, in 1977 Neil Diamond performed an open air concert in the grounds of Woburn Abbey.

In July 2002, Lord and Lady Tavistock (as they were then) and family were invited to Neil's concert on the Sunday at Earls Court. I was also invited to attend the concert as a guest of Sony, thus I had the privilege of sitting just behind Lord Tavistock and his son Jamie all through the concert. (I didnt sit through it all - I must admit I stood for Neil when he sang!!) What an Honour, I did not know which way to look - so I carefully kept an occasional eye on Lord T to see that he was OK with all the noise we made - there were 18,000 of us in Earls Court that night - and listened to Neil.

Bless Lord T, he was such a trooper and stayed throughout the concert - even through the whole of the encore. At the end of the concert, I had by this time strayed down to exactly next to Lord T ( I could not resist moving to neil's music and being so close to Lord T!) as I had an aisle seat, I made certain that when Lord T got up to leave that I moved out of the way and helped him up the stairs and watched to see that his exit was clear - I had to look out for him,. although I know he didn't need it - it was the thought that counted and he deserved all the respect for what he went through personally with the battle over his health.

I have such a soft spot for Lord T, (the late Duke)that I named my Teddy Lord T, they are both soft and cuddly. - no disrepect meant- and I feel the loss.

I meant to write to Lord T to say what a trooper he was, to stay with us through the concert. You should have seen his face in the encore - it was animated at the sight of us fans cheering Neil - that expression will stay with me forever.

Now he will never know how much I admired him for all he did.

One Life, make the most of it.

If you see someone without a smile - give them one of yours.

With deep respect


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