December 13 2013 Latest news:
By Alex Diaz, Press Association
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
The Prince of Wales has bid farewell to close friend and confidant Hugh van Cutsem at his Requiem Mass with the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry by his side.
Charles, his sons and Camilla joined mourners at Brentwood Cathedral to remember the conservationist and horse-breeder, who died at his home last Monday aged 72.
Mr van Cutsem, a former officer in the Household Cavalry, and Charles had been friends since their days as students at Cambridge.
They became regular holiday and shooting companions whose children in turn grew very close.
Mr van Cutsem and his wife Emilie van Ufford’s son Edward is Charles’s godson and when the Prince married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 the then eight-year-old was chosen as one of two page boys.
After the collapse of the marriage, William and Harry spent time at the van Cutsem family home in Norfolk.
Thirty years after Charles’s wedding, Mr van Cutsem’s granddaughter Grace was the flower girl pictured covering her ears as William and Kate kissed after their wedding on the balcony of Buckingham Place.
And it is believed one of Mr van Cutsem’s four sons will be asked to be godfather to William’s baby Prince George.
Described as “one of the finest shots of his generation”, Mr van Cutsem was born on July 21 1941 and schooled at Sunningdale and Ampleforth.
The son of champion horse trainer Bernard van Cutsem, who trained horses for the Queen, he preferred to stick to breeding.
His 4,400-acre estate on Norfolk’s Brecklands became renowned for its private wild game shoots, and he also owned a hunting lodge and grouse moor on the North Yorkshire-Cumbria border.
A 41-year-old man has been stabbed at an address in Harold Hill.