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Camilla breaks one of the monarchy’s historic traditions: she won’t have a lady-in-waiting

Barely three months after her announcement as queen consort, Camilla has already broken one of the oldest traditions of the British monarchy: She will be the first queen in centuries without a lady-in-waiting. It is Buckingham Palace that confirmed the change in a statement released later this week and that the British tabloids have already gone ahead daily mail In October.

From this moment on, Camilla would have the aid of the so-called Queen’s Companions. O queen’s companion, a post which did not exist heretofore and which would take the place of a lady-in-waiting; or ladies in waiting (literally translated as “ladies of waiting”) that have been part of the monarchy since the Middle Ages. During Elizabeth II’s lifetime, both she and her sister, Princess Margaret, were also their ladies-in-waiting, who were affectionately known by this name. head girls, On royal tours and official duties, serving as counselors and performing secretarial work. an act that would not be seen again in the British monarchy, at least for the time being.

As announced by Buckingham, Camilla has recruited six confidants and close friends who will help her on a day-to-day basis. Sarah Troughton has held the position of Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire since 2012, in addition to being a second cousin of Carlos III. Lady Sarah Keswick has been a close friend of the monarchs for years. Carlin Chisholm sits in the House of Lords on the Conservative wing as a Life Member. Fiona Shelburne, Marchioness of Lansdowne, is a professional interior designer and has run her own studio for over three decades. Catherine Brooke is a close friend of the monarch as well as the daughter of one of Elizabeth II’s former ladies-in-waiting. She would accompany her mother to the palace, as she would continue to help the king under the title of lady of the house. Jan von Westenholz has been a friend of kings for decades. Her daughter is also a close friend of Prince Harry and was the one who introduced him to Meghan Markle.

“The queen did not want or need bridesmaids. Companions will have a different role. They will be there to provide support and company. At the end of a very busy day, it’s nice to have an old friend by your side,” a source close to the paper explained. The Sunday Times.

With this change, former ladies-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth II who were still in the palace would remain with the new monarchs, but in this case would change their title and be known as ladies of the household. Lady Susan Hussey, Lady Mary Morrison and Lady Annabel Whitehead will assist Charles III in organizing formal events at Buckingham Palace. In contrast, she would not be in charge of attending to royal correspondence or planning the agenda, a task she had hitherto performed under the role of lady-in-waiting; From now on he would only occasionally attend official functions with Camilla. Though they will not get salary for this, they will get allowances to meet their expenses.

In recent years, a total of seven ladies-in-waiting accompanied Elizabeth II. However, his advanced age – similar to that of the sovereign – meant that, little by little, he relinquished his position or died. In fact, as of early December 2021, Ann Fortune, Duchess of Grafton, was his lady-in-waiting no less than 1967 and who held the position mistress of robes, something like “the lady of the dress” or “the lady of the clothes”. according to the newspaper many times, this curious title has been in existence since the late 16th century, during the reign of Elizabeth I (who had at least thirty women), and originally implied that the person thus named was in charge of the Queen’s clothing and jewellery. was; Over time this evolved into being the head of the sovereign’s ladies, managing her time and organizing others at events relating to the queen. Also in December, Fortune reported, weeks after Diana Maxwell, Lady Farnham, who had been Elizabeth’s companion since 1987 and friend for decades, died at the age of 90. Two more former ladies of the late monarch have passed away in 2022. Lady Frances Campbell-Preston, who spent 37 years with the Queen Mother, also died just a week ago at the age of 104.

The Queen’s Companions will debut at Buckingham Palace this Tuesday, when the Queen consort receives other royal ladies such as the Queen of Jordan, Matilde of Belgium and Princess Mary of Denmark. It will be a reception at the palace aimed at giving visibility to violence against women and girls.

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