Camilla, Queen Consort, won't have ladies-in-waiting like Queen Elizabeth did — breaking a centuries-old royal tradition

Queen Elizabeth II and Camilla, Queen Consort.
Queen Elizabeth II and Camilla, Queen Consort, in 2019.Max Mumby/Getty Images
  • Camilla, Queen Consort, won't have ladies-in-waiting, according to multiple reports.

  • Instead, she will have "Queen's companions" to accompany her at events.

  • The change is thought to align with King Charles' "slimmed down" monarchy.

Camilla, Queen Consort, is ditching a centuries-old royal tradition that was upheld by her mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II.

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that the Queen Consort, 75, won't employ ladies-in-waiting, according to the Daily Mail's royal editor Rebecca English. A lady-in-waiting is a non-salaried role given to aristocratic women who carry out duties similar to that of a personal assistant, such as dealing with correspondence and accompanying the Queen on royal engagements.

Camilla believes having a smaller number of staff is "more with the times," English reports. Her approach will also fit in with King Charles' reported plans for a "slimmed down" monarchy, which would involve reducing the number of individuals performing official duties under the royal household, Insider previously reported.

Instead, Camilla is set to have a group of six close friends — nicknamed the "Queen's companions" — to accompany her on engagements, the BBC's royal correspondent Sean Coughlan reported on Sunday.

Like ladies-in-waiting, Camilla's companions won't be given a salary, Coughlan reports. However, it will be a more occasional and informal position, as it won't involve dealing with correspondence or day-to-day planning, Coughlan added.

Those chosen as the Queen's companions are Marchioness of Lansdowne, Jane von Westenholz, Lady Katharine Brooke, Sarah Troughton, Lady Sarah Keswick, and Baroness Chisholm, BBC News and Rebecca English report.

Queen Elizabeth had five ladies-in-waiting before she died, including Lady Susan Hussey, Dame Mary Morrison, Lady Elizabeth Leeming, Susan Rhodes, and Dame Annabel Whitehead, according to Hello! magazine.

BBC News reports that the former ladies-in-waiting are still involved with the royal household, and their new role involves assisting King Charles in planning official palace events. They will now be known as "ladies of the household," the publication reports.

Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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