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Who were the Queen's ladies-in-waiting?

The late monarch relied on her ladies-in-waiting throughout her reign


queen ladies in waiting
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
19 September 2022
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On Monday, mourners around the globe will witness the historic funeral of Her Majesty the Queen following her sad passing at Balmoral Castle on 8 September aged 96.

MORE: Who will attend the Queen's funeral - see names

Queen Elizabeth II will be laid to rest at St. George's Chapel in Windsor after a state funeral held at Westminster Abbey, which will be attended by her immediate family including King Charles, as well as friends and state figures from around the globe.

Also thought to be in attendance will be Her Majesty's lady-in-waiting, Lady Susan Hussey. Susan, who has been described as the late monarch's right-hand woman, worked closely with the Queen and was considered a great friend. Find out more about her and her roles, as well as other ladies-in-waiting below…

WATCH: King Charles visits Wales ahead of the Queen's state funeral

Who were the Queen's ladies-in-waiting?

As mentioned, Lady Susan Hussey, who was married to the late BBC chairman Marmaduke Hussey, was one of the Queen's most trusted members of staff. She accompanied the Queen at the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh in 2021 and is also godmother to Prince William.

In addition to Baroness Hussey, the late monarch had a number of other women around her, known as the 'Head Girls', some of whom were a part of the Queen's team for over 60 years. The Queen's other ladies-in-waiting were: Dame Mary Morrison, Lady Elizabeth Leeming, Susan Rhodes and Dame Annabel Whitehead.

In December 2021 two of the Queen's closest ladies in waiting passed away, Fortune FitzRoy, the Duchess of Grafton, 101, and Lady Farnham, 90.

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lady susan and the queen© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen's ladies-in-waiting are her trusted confidantes

What did the Queen's ladies-in-waiting do?

The roles and responsibilities were varied, but above all their companionship, discretion and loyalty would have been at the top of their duties to Her Majesty.

However, the group had more practical roles, too. As well as conducting administrative tasks, a number of them were assigned specific duties during their time with the monarch.

The Mistress of the Robes was responsible for managing the Queen's wardrobe as well as the schedule and duties for the fellow ladies-in-waiting, while the Women of the Bedchamber helped the monarch to dress and undress and helped her bathe.

MORE: 'A wave of emotion hit me': Royal mourners tell HELLO! why they felt compelled to see the Queen lying in state after long queue

lady susan hussey© Photo: Getty Images

Lady Susan Hussey has formed a bond with the royals

Did the Queen's ladies-in-waiting get paid?

No, the ladies-in-waiting did not get paid. The group fulfilled their roles and duties out of personal loyalty to the Queen. In addition, 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. They also never retire and were expected to work with the Queen throughout her life.

What will happen to the Queen' ladies-in-waiting?

Now that the Queen has sadly passed away, her ladies-in-waiting are no longer serving the monarch. However, it's thought that it's too early to tell whether they will retire or simply most post following Her Majesty's death.

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