It was with great sadness that we heard of the passing of The Duke of Marlborough yesterday, who was our patron and a great friend of Oxfordshire Community Foundation.

The Duke had his home at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, and was an esteemed ambassador for our community foundation. Our thoughts are with his wife, family and friends at this time.

OCF President Lord Lieutenant Tim Stevenson has said: “The Duke of Marlborough has served Oxfordshire and his country magnificently, and was as much a part of county life as Blenheim Palace itself. He will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure to know him over many decades.”

The Duke was a committed supporter of the local community and of charitable causes, allowing the beautiful setting of Blenheim Palace to be used for fundraising events. Just last month Blenheim was the venue for the High Sheriff’s Choir, an event for the 22 Oxfordshire businesses who have signed up to the High Sheriff’s Challenge. The companies are using the challenge to raise money for several charities, including Oxfordshire Community Foundation.

OCF’s Chair Anna Moon says: “I am very sorry to hear that The Duke is no longer with us. He has been our patron since we were formed in 1995 and has always been a faithful supporter of our work. We are so grateful to have had the privilege of knowing him and sharing our plans and commitments with him over these past 19 years.”

Our CEO Jayne Woodley comments: “It was such a pleasure to have met His Grace, and to have shared with him a passion for Oxfordshire. I greatly appreciate his patronage and positive ambassadorship for our work. He will be missed.”

A spokesman from Blenheim Palace has said that The Duke’s funeral will be on Friday, October 24, although the details are being finalised.