Elizabeth Russell, Duchess of Bedford

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Lady Elizabeth Sackville-West
Duchess of Bedford
Spouse(s) Francis Russell, 9th Duke of Bedford
Father George Sackville-West, 5th Earl De La Warr
Mother Lady Elizabeth Sackville
Born (1818-09-23)23 September 1818
Died 22 April 1897(1897-04-22) (aged 78)
Latimer House
Buried St Michael's Church, Chenies, Buckinghamshire

Elizabeth Russell, Duchess of Bedford VA (née Sackville-West; 23 September 1818 – 22 April 1897) was born the daughter of the 5th Earl De La Warr and his wife Lady Elizabeth Sackville.


Lady Elizabeth Russell was a bridesmaid at the marriage of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert on 10 February 1840.[1]

On 18 June 1844 she was married to Francis Russell, a grandson of the late 6th Duke of Bedford and nephew of Lord John Russell, the Whig politician and future Prime Minister. Francis Russell succeeded his cousin as 9th Duke of Bedford in 1872.[1]

Elizabeth was appointed Mistress of the Robes to the Queen by Mr Gladstone in 1880, and served in that capacity until 1883. In 1886, Gladstone's policy of Home Rule had alienated many of the aristocrats in the Liberal Party, and no lady of suitable (i.e., ducal) rank could be found who was willing to serve as Mistress of the Robes. The Duchess of Bedford performed the duties of the office for the duration of the ministry, but was not appointed to the post by Gladstone.

She was widowed in 1891 after the Duke committed suicide. She died, aged seventy-nine, at Latimer House, near Chesham, Buckinghamshire, in 1897 and, after cremation at Woking Crematorium, her ashes were buried in the 'Bedford Chapel' at St. Michael’s Church, Chenies, Buckinghamshire.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Lloyd & Seccombe 2004.
  2. The Complete Peerage, Volume II. St Catherine's Press. 1912. p. 87.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Works cited
Court offices
Preceded by
The Duchess of Wellington
Mistress of the Robes
Succeeded by
The Duchess of Roxburghe
Preceded by
The Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry
Mistress of the Robes
(pro tempore)
Succeeded by
The Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry