The Duke of Devonshire has thanked the thousands of people who turned out to pay their respects at his mother’s funeral yesterday.
Deborah Cavendish, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, passed away peacefully aged 94 last Wednesday.
She was laid to rest at a family plot in the grounds of St Peter’s Church, in Edensor, yesterday after a funeral service attended by mourners including the Prince of Wales.
In a statement, the Duke said: “On behalf of the Devonshire family I would like to thank all those who have paid their respects, through kind words, cards, messages of condolence and donations to the selected charities, as well as those who attended the funeral service.
“The tributes have been overwhelming and are a true testament to my mother’s memory.”
The Duchess - the youngest of the six famous Mitford sisters who scandalised and delighted society in their day - and her husband inherited the vast Chatsworth estate when his father died in 1950.
Faced with astronomical bills for the house’s upkeep, the Duchess, who had no formal education, opened the building to the public and successfully turned a crumbling pile into one of Britain’s leading tourist attractions over 50 years.
Nicknamed the “housewife Duchess”, she was heavily involved in the day-to-day running of Chatsworth estate up until her 90s and was both highly respected and well-liked by her staff.
In a statement, Prince Charles said: “She was a unique personality with a wonderfully original approach to life.
“We shall miss her so very much.”