Dr Ian Campbell, a former Apothecary to the Royal Household at Sandringham, has died of an asbestos-related cancer.
Dr Campbell was suffering from mesothelioma possibly caused by exposure to asbestos while working part-time in an Allen & Hanbury factory over 40 years ago.
The company is now owned by GlaxoSmithKline and prior to his death Dr Campbell was making a compensation claim after claiming he was not adequately protected from asbestos during his time at the factory.
Dr Campbell was Apothecary to the Royal Household for 15 years before being forced to retire through ill health in 2007.
The Coroner William Armstrong recorded a verdict of death caused by industrial disease.
Asbestos is no respecter of status or occupation, even though the exposure in this case was ‘industrial’. Asbestos was used on the Sandringham estate, as well as in Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. Gordon Brown lost a good friend, John MacDougall, to the disease (Mr MacDougall was a Labour MP in a neighbouring Scottish constituency) almost 18 months ago. Sir Alastair Aird, the late Queen Mother’s Private Secretary and husband of David Cameron’s Godmother, was allegedly exposed to asbestos at Clarence House and died of Mesothelioma late last year. It cannot be said that asbestos-related illnesses affect just blue collar workers, therefore.