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Why the Queen's ladies-in-waiting do not receive a salary

The monarch relies on a number of trusted figures

queen ladies in waiting
Gemma Strong
Online Digital News Director
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Theirs is an understated job but one that is of utmost important to Her Majesty The Queen.

With a busy schedule and a day-to-day routine to manage, the monarch is supported by a number of ladies-in-waiting, some of whom work on a daily basis, some of whom only appear on ceremonial occasions.

MORE: Meet the Queen's lady-in-waiting Lady Susan Hussey

Their roles are varied; the Mistress of the Robes is responsible for managing the Queen's wardrobe as well as the schedule and duties for her fellow ladies-in-waiting, while the Women of the Bedchamber helps the monarch to dress and undress and help her bathe.

WATCH: The Queen arrives for Prince Philip's funeral with lady-in-waiting, Lady Susan Hussey

There are notable similarities between all the ladies, however – not least that they are not paid for the service.

MORE: The Queen breaks with royal tradition following death of her beloved Prince Philip

READ: Prince Philip's final portrait: secret detail revealed by royal artist

They fulfil their roles out of personal loyalty to the Queen, with companionship one of their most important duties. Notably, they come from wealthy families and as such are able to work without pay. It's thought they work on a flexible two-week rota.

queen lady in waiting

The Queen's ladies-in-waiting act as both friends and loyal assistants

Furthermore, they are also expected to serve the Queen for life and never retire from their personal duties.

READ: Why the Queen's family won’t call her 'Lilibet' anymore

MORE: Prince Philip's funeral: The most moving photos from the day

The Queen's close bond with her ladies-in-waiting was never more evident than at the funeral for Prince Philip on 17 April.

She personally asked Lady Susan Hussey to join her for the car journey as she prepared to say a last goodbye to her husband of 73 years.

susan hussey kate middleton

Lady Susan Hussey with the Duchess of Cambridge and the Countess of Wessex

Lady Susan has been by the Queen's side since the birth of Prince Andrew in 1960 and is now one of her most trusted friends. Notably, the 81-year-old is also close to Prince Charles and is a godmother to Prince William.

A constant presence in royal life, Lady Susan has largely remained out of the spotlight, but was famously photographed in 2012 draping a pashmina over the Queen's shoulders as they sailed down the Thames in the pouring rain on the Royal Barge for the Jubilee pageant.

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