Countess dies at 70

TRIBUTES were yesterday paid to the Countess of Iveagh, who has died after a three-year battle with cancer.

Born Miranda Smiley, the countess is the mother of the fourth Earl of Iveagh, who owns the 22,000-acre Elveden Estate north of Bury St Edmunds.

The estate, which has been home to the Guiness family since the 1890s, yesterday confirmed she had died at her Wiltshire home following a “a long battle with cancer”.

The countess used to live at Elveden and was highly regarded by those connected with the estate.

One of those paying tribute is Rosemary Trayes, whose husband Tom looked after the Guiness family’s dogs.

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“My late husband and I used to look after the family’s dogs. She would visit us regularly,” said Mrs Trayes. “There are so many memories – she was just a lovely lady, she was always very kind and thoughtful.

“When my husband had cancer she phoned regularly and after he passed away she would send me a present every year.

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“She also had a wonderful sense of humour. And she had great courage – especially during her last three years, even when she was facing yet another gruelling cancer treatment.”

A funeral service for the countess will be held at St George’s Hanover Square, in Mayfair, London, on Tuesday, at noon, followed by a private burial. Strictly no flowers.

Donations to be supportive of bone cancer medicine, to Lauchentilly Charitable Foundation, c/o Millbank Financial Services, Pollen House, 10-12 Cork Street, London, W1S 3LW.

A memorial service in Dublin will be announced at a later date.

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