Prince Charles is “deeply upset” over the death of the Queen Mother’s beloved servant Backstairs Billy.
William Talon – who was the late Queen Mother’s Page of the Backstairs and served the royal family for 51 years – was found dead at his south London home in Kennington over the weekend.
The 71-year-old former butler is believed to have suffered a heart attack following liver failure.
A spokesman for Charles – who last saw Billy a week ago – said he was “deeply upset” to learn of the death of the valued servant.
The prince spent many hours with Billy when he stayed with the Queen Mother at her London residence Clarence House – which is now Charles royal home – while his parents Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were away on official engagements.
The Queen Mother’s royal biographer, Hugo Vickers, claims Billy and his long-term partner Reg Wilcock – who was the Queen Mother’s former Page of the Presence – played a “big part in Charles’ life when he was young”.
When the Queen Mother died in 2002, Charles made sure Billy was looked after and moved him into a flat formerly owned by his Duchy of Cornwall estate.
The prince paid for Billy’s rent and also topped up his pension. In March, the prince visited him at an HIV-Aids ward at St. Mary’s hospital, where he was receiving treatment.
Billy’s lover Reg passed away a week after the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday, in August 2000.