News today that a former employee of the royal household has passed away would have been difficult for the Duchess of Cambridge to hear, as he was the very man who helped ease her wedding day nerves in 2011.

Anthony Gordon Lennox, who is also the Duke of Richmond’s nephew, has passed away at just 48, after a short illness. Anthony, a communications expert, was the Duchess’ voice coach for her big day and helped her project her voice while reciting her wedding vows to Prince William in Westminster Abbey.

A famously shy public speaker, Catherine was inevitably nervous about speaking in front of such a huge crowd on her special day.

So Anthony was brought in to teach Catherine some specialist breathing techniques, in order to ensure she didn’t stumble over her words, as Princess Diana famously did during her wedding to Prince Charles.

And it seems Anthony was also a much-relied on help for another member of the Middleton family too.

Reportedly, he also trained Catherine’s brother James Middleton in preparation for his speech on the big royal wedding day. And, given that James was the only member of either family to make a speech, Anthony’s role ended up being a pretty important one!

Anothy also helped 24-year-old Amanda Thatcher to deliver a speech at the funeral of her grandmother, Margaret Thatcher, in 2013, when she was just 20 years old.

His family have a released a statement following the sad news.

“Words cannot express the sadness we feel as a family on Ant’s death.

“He was an extraordinary man in so many ways but above all a family man: a loving, loyal and attentive son, brother, uncle, and cousin.”

“The media have often described Ant as a ‘voice coach’. This is on account of his work with people such as the Duchess of Cambridge, her brother James Middleton, and Amanda Thatcher.

(Anthony Gordon Lennox, left)

“In truth though, there was so much more to his work than that. Ant’s role in life was to help people to be and to express their real selves – to find their voice metaphorically as well as literally – and there was a great deal more to this than delivery coaching.”

Anthony also worked with former Conservative PM David Cameron, and his wife Samantha Cameron, for training on public speaking.

David Cameron has commented on the news, saying, “It is tragic that he has been taken from us so early. Ant had a magical ability to help people get across in the most simple and straightforward way possible what they really wanted to say.”

“He was one of the most kind-hearted and decent people I ever had the privilege of meeting. “

FROM: Woman & Home, our sister site.