The nation mourned with the Queen this year as she said a final, dignified farewell to her husband of more than 70 years.
The 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh was the longest-serving consort in British history and died in April, just weeks before he would have celebrated his 100th birthday.
Another much admired charity supporter who had reached that milestone and received the traditional greetings from the Queen was Captain Sir Tom Moore, who died in February.
Sir Tom’s fundraising efforts raised more than £32 million for the NHS when he walked 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday in April 2020, and he remained an inspiration in the months which followed.
The charity work and public service of Sir David Amess was also remembered in tributes to the Southend West MP after he was fatally stabbed during a constituency surgery in October.
Sir David, 69, who was described by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as “one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics”, had been an MP since 1983 and Southend was granted city status in his memory.
Here are some of the other well-known people who died in 2021.
The French-born founder of the Michelin-starred restaurant Le Gavroche and part of the Roux culinary dynasty died at the age of 85.
Alongside his younger brother Michel, in 1967 Roux founded Le Gavroche in London, known for its classic take on French cuisine, which was the first
restaurant in the UK to gain one, then two and then three Michelin stars.
Sir David Barclay
The Daily Telegraph’s joint owner died aged 86.
Along with his identical twin Sir Frederick, Sir David built a vast business empire which began with hotels and expanded to include shipping, retailing, and, since 2004, ownership of the Telegraph Media Group.
Sir Brian Urquhart
The British diplomat, who played a role in the establishment of the United Nations after he became the second staff member hired by the international organisation following its founding in 1945, died aged 101.
In his role at the UN, he directed 13 peacekeeping operations, recruited 10,000 troops from 23 countries and instituted peacekeeping as one of the core tenets of the organisation.
The father of Claudia Lawrence died aged 74 without ever knowing what had happened to his daughter who went missing in 2009.
Mr Lawrence campaigned for the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Bill, also known as Claudia’s Law, which was passed in April 2017 and allows relatives to take control of their missing loved ones’ financial matters after they have disappeared for 90 days or longer.
Sir William Macpherson
Sir William, who led the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, died aged 94.
He produced a report in 1999 following an inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993 which described the Metropolitan Police as “institutionally racist”.
Professor John Mallard
The British medical physicist who pioneered the development of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology died aged 94.
Prof Mallard was also an early champion of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging, which can produce detailed three-dimensional images of the inside of the body and is one of the world’s most powerful tools for studying human diseases.
The Queen’s friend and former Master of the Horse died at the age of 79.
The ex-Cheltenham racecourse chairman, who was one of Britain’s richest men, was part of the monarch’s inner circle was also a close friend of the Prince of Wales.
The UK’s first openly lesbian MP died at the age of 92.
After it emerged that she was in a relationship with a woman, her constituency party tried to deselect her as a candidate for the next General Election and, although her appeal against the move was upheld, she lost her Northampton North seat to the Conservatives in 1979.
The Marquess of Bute
John Bute, who died aged 62, spent much of his time on his namesake Scottish island, at his ancestral home, Mount Stuart, and had chaired the Board of Mount Stuart Trust since 2005.
The 7th marquess, whose full name was John Crichton-Stuart, was a former Formula 1 driver who raced under the name Johnny Dumfries and won the 24-hour race, Le Mans, in 1988.
The designer of Glastonbury’s world-famous Pyramid Stage died at the age of 83.
Bill Harkin, who worked as an architect for British Leyland, came up with the idea for the structure after seeing it in a dream.
Baroness Williams of Crosby
Shirley Williams, the former Labour cabinet minister who broke away from the party to form the SDP, died aged 90 as a Liberal Democrat.
She had served in the governments of Harold Wilson and James Callaghan in the 1970s rising to become education secretary but, in 1981, having become disillusioned with Labour’s drift to the left under Michael Foot, she was one of the original “Gang of Four” to leave the party to form the new centrist SDP.
Dame Cheryl Gillan
The Chesham and Amersham Conservative MP and former Welsh secretary died at the age of 68.
Dame Cheryl found herself centre stage of Tory politics when she was acting joint chair of the influential 1922 Committee of backbench MPs in 2019 and helped to preside over the Tory leadership contest to elect a successor to Theresa May – a contest Boris Johnson won.
The former Tory MP for East Surrey from 1992 to 2010 held a series of frontbench roles, including as shadow culture secretary and shadow environment secretary.
Mr Ainsworth was chairman of trustees at the Churches Conservation Trust and the Heritage Alliance.
Former minister and Labour peer Frank Judd, who represented Portsmouth as an MP between 1966 and 1979, died at the age of 86.
Lord Judd served as minister for the Royal Navy and overseas development, and later had a stint in the Foreign Office and became a director of Oxfam before being appointed a life peer in 1991.
Professor Sir Paul Cosford
Sir Paul, who served as Public Health England (PHE) emeritus medical director, joined PHE in 2012, having previously led the national and local delivery of health protection services within the Health Protection Agency from 2010.
He served as PHE’s medical director and director for health protection from 2012 to 2019.
The former motorsports boss whose high-profile court battle with a tabloid newspaper turned him into a privacy campaigner, died aged 81.
Mr Mosley, who served as president of the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile), became an advocate for tighter press regulation in the wake of a 2008 privacy High Court battle against the now-defunct News Of The World after the newspaper wrongly reported he had attended a “Nazi-themed” sex party.
The former SNP MP and MSP, who represented Angus at both Holyrood and Westminster, died at the age of 77.
He represented South Angus at Westminster from 1974-79 and East Angus from 1987-2001 also was elected to Holyrood in the first Scottish Parliament poll in 1999, representing Angus there until he retired in 2011.
The assisted dying campaigner, who was left paralysed after a car accident, died at the age of 65.The father-of-two from Leeds, who took on several legal challenges including one at the Supreme Court, left a “fierce legacy of campaigning” Humanist UK’s chief executive Andrew Copson said.
The 97th Hillsborough victim died aged 55, more than 32 years after he suffered serious injuries at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final.
Mr Devine was posthumously awarded the Freedom of Liverpool.
The D-Day hero who landed on Sword Beach died at the age of 97.
Ernest Aylott, known as Ernie, joined the Royal Army Service Corps in 1942 and later transferred to 15 Parachute Regiment, going ashore on D-Day, June 6 1944, before driving lorries loaded with ammunition to supply the front line through France.
The former Great Grimsby MP, who died aged 86, was a colourful figure who represented the North East Lincolnshire port for 38 years, from 1977 to 2015, after a career with ITV’s Calendar regional news programme during the 1970s.
The Labour MP briefly changed his name to Austin Haddock in 2002 as part of a bid to boost Grimsby’s fishing industry.
Sir Clive Sinclair
The brains behind the Spectrum home computers, who died aged 81, launched the first affordable consumer computer in 1980.
Sir Clive’s diverse projects also saw him explore new technology with the Sinclair C5 vehicle, an electric tricycle heralded as the future of eco-friendly transport but which turned out to be an expensive flop.
Stuart Lubbock’s father began a 20-year campaign for justice following his son’s death at entertainer Michael Barrymore’s then home in Roydon, Essex, in March 2001,
Mr Lubbock, who died aged 76, had been fighting for a fresh inquest into his son’s death.
James BrokenshireThe Conservative MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, who had been suffering from lung cancer, died aged 53.
He had served as Northern Ireland secretary and security minister.
The former Labour for Dundee West died at the age of 79.
Mr Ross was the MP for Dundee West from 1979 until 2005 and was described by Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar as a “passionate voice against injustice, not just in Dundee but across the world”.
He was one of the founding members of the SDLP, won a seat in Dublin West for Fine Gael in 1989 and pursued a career as TD and minister until he retired in 2002.
Mr Currie, who died aged 82, was a key figure at the beginning of Northern Ireland’s civil rights movement.
Professor Clive Lee
The pioneering engineer, who co-created an implant that revolutionised hip replacements for millions of people across the world, died aged 82.
Professor Clive Lee, from the University of Exeter, was one of the two masterminds behind the Exeter Hip, which research shows is among the world’s most successful hip implants globally.
The architect responsible for the Millennium Dome, the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Lloyd’s of London building died aged 88.
Richard Rogers’s designs, which also include the Senedd building in Cardiff and Strasbourg’s European Court of Human Rights, won critical acclaim with the Royal Gold Medal and the Pritzker Prize.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who helped end apartheid in South Africa, died in Cape Town on Boxing Day died aged 90.
He was a courageous political campaigner who fought against injustices faced by the non-white population in the country.