“Lady Farnham was a very impressive individual,” - Ryan
Tributes have been paid to Diana Maxwell, Lady Farnham, who passed away four days ago at the age of 90. The Baroness Farnham had close ties to Cavan and was instrumental in the handing over of the Farnham Collection to the care of Cavan County Museum.
She held the role of Lady of Bedchamber for Britain's Queen Elizabeth since 1987. Mrs Maxwell was the wife of the 12th Baron Farnham, Barry Maxwell, who died aged 69 in 2001. The 12th Baron was a top London City banker and a prominent freemasons.
In her role as Queen Elizabeth's Lady of Bedchamber she joined the royal tours in the course of her 44 years of service, including the highly successful tour of Ireland in 2011.
Born Diana Marion Gunnis, she married Lord Farnham in 1959. The couple had two daughters, Harriet, 57, and Sophia, 54, and had four grandchildren - Araminta, 28, Henry, 26, Elsa, 15 and Celia, 13.
Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council, Councillor Clifford Kelly has paid tribute to Baroness Farnham saying: “It was with great sadness that I learned of Lady Farnham’s death. Though the Farnham family have not resided in the county for some years now, Lady Farnham retained a strong connection with County Cavan and was a stalwart supporter of Cavan County Museum, entrusting the wonderful Farnham Collection to the museum’s catalogue,” said Cllr Kelly.
“On behalf of the elected members of Cavan County Council, I extend my deepest sympathies to her daughters Harriet and Sophia, her wider family, and her many friends,” the Cathaoirleach said.
Chief Executive of Cavan County Council, Tommy Ryan, also expressed his sadness at Baroness Farnham’s passing, noting: “Lady Farnham was a very impressive individual, who served as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth II and, fittingly, accompanied her on her historic visit to Ireland in 2011.
“Though her duties have seen her reside in England in recent decades, she retained a deep personal bond with County Cavan and impressed upon me her great pride in Cavan County Museum’s exhibiting of the Farnham Collection. The collection is an invaluable resource which helps foster greater understanding of the complex relationship between the Farnhams and Cavan – a legacy that stretches back over 370 years – and has contributed greatly to the museum’s mission of telling our county’s story. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis”.
Chair of the Ballyjamesduff Municipal District, Councillor Trevor Smith added: “Through her links with the museum here in Ballyjamesduff, Lady Farnham made many friends in this area and is fondly remembered by all who knew her. May she rest in peace.”