Sir Michael Oswald, who played an instrumental role in the royal family's horse racing success, has passed away.
According to The Times, the former manager of the Royal Studs, died on April 17 after a "long illness." He was 86 years old. Per the publication, he is survived by his wife, Lady Angela Cecil, as well as by their adult children, Katharine and William.
"He always said he had the most wonderful job anybody could ever have had," Lady Angela, who is the daughter of the sixth Marquess of Exter David Cecil and served as a lady-in-waiting to the Queen Mother, told Blood Horse, "and that for all his working life he was simply doing what he would have done had he been a rich man who didn't have to work."
Oswald was born in Surrey, England in 1934. According to The Times, he was recruited to manage the Royal Studs, a thoroughbred stud originally founded in Hampton Court that later moved to Sandringham Estate, in 1969.
Queen Elizabeth II has an interest in horse racing, and the 1970s were a time of major victories. Her horse, Highclere, for instance, won the 1000 Guineas and the Prix de Diane in 1974.
According to The Times, Oswald was later promoted to director but retired in 1999. However, he still served as the Queen Mother's racing manager, a role he took on in 1970. After Queen Elizabeth II's mother died in 2002, Oswald served as National Hunt racing advisor to the reigning monarch.
"Having been paid to do what I would have done for fun had I been a rich man, I must be the luckiest of all chaps," he once remarked, per The Times, "because there was never a better and more knowledgeable owner to answer to."