Shock as Aylesbury stalwart Frances King dies in freak accident on cruise ship

The last picture taken of Roger and Frances King together on board the cruise ship

The last picture taken of Roger and Frances King together on board the cruise ship

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A well-known Aylesbury pensioner has died after a freak accident onboard a cruise ship in South America.

Frances King, who was 73, suffered a fatal head injury after slipping over on the deck of the MS Zaandam as she went to view the spectacular Chilean fjords.

She was checked over by the ship’s medical team and appeared to be okay.

However, a few hours later she had slipped into a coma.

She was placed on a life support machine in the ship’s medical centre and then rushed to hospital when the Zaandam anchored at the Chilean city of Punta Arenas.

A scan revealed she had suffered a cerebral haemorrhage.

There was nothing doctors could do to save her.

Mrs King was on life support and her two daughters were able to fly out to be at her side. She passed away on March 15, four days after the fall.

Her husband, Roger, said: “On our last day together we had enjoyed a dancing lesson, taken part in a quiz and had an ice cream together. It had just been a happy day.

“I was walking in front of her to go and get in a good position to get photos [of the fjords]. I heard a bang and thought what the hell is that.”

Mrs King had been married to Roger for 17 years but they had been together since 1990.

The pair, of Milton Road, Aylesbury, are popular figures in the town.

Mrs King ran a keep fit class in Bierton for more than 25 years.

She was a member of the Mid Bucks and Weston Turville U3A and was a volunteer host at Waddesdon Manor, greeting visitors and telling them about thedisplays.

She was also a regular contributor to the Bucks Herald letters page.

She worked as a PA at finance company Chessman and Partners in Chesham until her retirement in 2014.

Mr King is Conservative district councillor for Mandeville and Elm Farm, honorary secretary of the Aylesbury Society and vice-president of the Rotary Club of Aylesbury Hundreds.

The pair were also keen gardeners.

Last year they were runners-up in a town council gardening competition while they had also opened their garden up six times for the National Garden Scheme.