Camilla ends centuries-old ladies-in-waiting tradition as she unveils Queens Companions

Queen consort Camilla, who recently paid tribute to the late Queen, has recruited some of her closest friends to act as her official companions as she goes about her stately duties.

Buckingham Palace has announced the six women who will accompany and support Queen Consort Camilla as she attends charity events, formal ceremonies and state visits, but they won’t be called ladies-in-waiting.

In an end to a tradition that started 600 years ago, it has been announced that six aristocratic women will act as Camilla's “Queen’s Companions” rather than ladies-in-waiting.

Although the role is thought to be similar, it looks likely that their duties will be scaled down and that they won’t be in attendance at stately events nearly as often as Queen Elizabeth II’s ladies-in-waiting were.

It’s also not clear if they’ll take up some of the other duties of the ladies-in-waiting, which included returning correspondence, accompanying the Queen and other female royals on their travels and helping to host formal events.

The six women are Jane Von Westenholz, Lady Katharine Brooke, Lady Sarah Kerswick, Baroness Carolyn Chisholm, Sarah Troughton and Fiona, the Marchioness of Landsdowne.

Baroness Carolyn is a lifetime peer who used to be affiliated with the Conservatives, whilst Lady Landsdowne – who is known professionally as Fiona Shleburne – works as an interior designer.

Lady Katharine Brooke, meanwhile, is best known for her skill in horse-racing and Sarah Troughton, one of Queen Elizabeth II’s cousins, is the Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire – the first woman to take up the role in more than half a century.

Meanwhile, Lady Sarah Kerswick – who is Camilla’s oldest friend – is married to Sir Chips Kerswick, who is best known as the former Chairman of Arsenal football club.

It’s thought that some of her companions will appear with Camilla publicly for the first time on Tuesday 29 November as the Queen consort attends a Palace reception to highlight violence against women and girls.

However, not all of them will be in attendance, as Charles and Camilla make an effort to make the monarchy a little less formal.

Camilla has also appointed Major Ollie Plunkett as her equerry, a traditional role which will see him assist Camilla, manage her diary and accompany her to state events.

The 75 year old Queen consort will also be aided by a private secretary and a deputy private secretary.

The late Queen Elizabeth II’s former ladies-in-waiting will also retain roles in the royal household as “ladies of the household” and will now assist the King as he hosts formal occasions at Buckingham Palace.

They are Lady Susan Hussey, Mary Morrison and Dame Annabel Whitehead.


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