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‘The Queen is boss – but I do also see her as a friend’: Fermanagh’s finest Lord Brookeborough on a life of royal service

As Elizabeth II’s representative for the last 25 years, Lord Brookeborough has met everyone from Obama to Trump and Putin. Here he talks about the monarch’s kindness, relief that the Prince Andrew drama is resolved ‘to some extent’ – and what’s next for the monarchy

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Alan Henry Brooke, who is also known as Lord Brookeborough. Picture by David Conachy

Alan Henry Brooke, who is also known as Lord Brookeborough. Picture by David Conachy

Alan Henry Brooke, who is also known as Lord Brookeborough. Picture by David Conachy

‘The Queen is boss, but I do also see her as a friend,” Lord Brookeborough says with a smile. The 69-year-old, also known as Alan Brooke, has been the monarch’s personal lord-in-waiting since 1997, in which guise he has to regularly come face-to-face with kings, queens and presidents.

Dressed casually today in a jumper and shirt, he is sitting in the library of Colebrooke House, his family’s ancestral Georgian home in Co Fermanagh, and reflects on a life spent serving the Crown. The room is packed with books on horses, portraits of family and framed photographs of the royals he has met over the years. It has barely changed since the 1800s; even the wallpaper is the same. In one corner is a tiny television. There is an open fire, which Brookeborough fills up with sticks.


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