SARAH VINE: Tragic reminder for this generation of royals that death is no respecter of age or social class

The news that Lady Gabriella Windsor’s husband, Tom Kingston, has died suddenly at the age of 45 may seem of little immediate importance to the fate of the royal family: after all, she is 57th in line to the throne.

But while it may not cause many constitutional problems, it is nevertheless a personal tragedy.

Kingston was by all accounts a nice man, as boisterous as he was mischievous. As a financier, he also worked as a hostage negotiator in Baghdad, in the Diplomatic Missions Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Before getting together with Lady Gabriella, now 42, he dated the Princess of Wales’ sister Pippa and was also linked to Natalie Hicks-Lobbecke, an old flame of Prince William.

When he and Lady Gabriella tied the knot in 2019, their wedding was attended by the late Queen and Prince Philip. It came on the heels of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding a year earlier, and that of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brookbanks. Three glamorous young royal weddings: the next generation is finally settling down.

Tom Kingston, husband of Lady Gabriella Windsor, has died aged 45. He worked as a hostage negotiator in Baghdad, in the Diplomatic Missions Unit of the State Department.

The couple on their wedding day in 2019. The ceremony was attended by the late Queen and Prince Philip

The couple on their wedding day in 2019. The ceremony was attended by the late Queen and Prince Philip

How terribly sad for Lady Gabriella, known to her friends as Ella, to have been widowed at such a young age.

As for her parents, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, they must have been terribly torn between attending today’s memorial service for King Constantine of Greece. They were pictured today chatting quietly in St George’s Chapel, where Lady Gabriella’s wedding took place just five years ago.

Kingston’s sad passing reminds us all that death does not discriminate by class or age. Happiness – if you are lucky enough to find it – is something to be cherished.

For this generation of young royals, so relatively unscathed by tragedy, Kingston’s untimely end will undoubtedly come as a terrible shock. Especially if the older generation suddenly no longer seems as robust as it used to be. Poor Lady Gabriella fainted during the late Queen Elizabeth’s dozing ceremony: like so many others, she was deeply affected by the loss of a woman whose presence seemed unchangeable.

The Kingston wedding was a very happy one in every way, which makes the whole thing even more heartbreaking. Especially since poor Lady Gabriella hadn’t had much luck with men in the past, after dating a rather nasty piece of work named Aatish Taseer, a British journalist, who later revealed details of how they once swam naked together in Buckingham’s indoor pool . Palace and took ecstasy at Windsor Castle.

He also wrote that ‘royals and Nazis go together like blinis and caviar’ and was spectacularly scathing of Ella’s mother, Princess Michael of Kent, writing of her ‘that everyone over a certain age in Britain is at least a little is racist’.

But in Kingston, Lady Gabriella seemed to have finally found her peace, someone who understood her rather studious nature (friends say she is incredibly down-to-earth and is always happiest buried in a book) and who was with her for who she is. , not what she represents.

It is not easy for royals like her, who carry all the baggage of that association but enjoy few of the obvious benefits, to find their path in life.

The last photo of them together, taken on Valentine’s Day this year at an event attended by Queen Camilla, shows them looking happily at the camera. They are the picture of a cheerful couple in their prime: beautifully matched, not only in spirit, but also in appearance (both wear electric blue).

May he rest in peace; and may she find comfort in the loving arms of her family.