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Camilla scraps position of lady-in-waiting at Buckingham Palace

The position of lady-in-waiting has been scrapped at Buckingham Palace, bringing to an end a centuries-old tradition.

Combining the roles of companion, adviser and secretary, ladies-in-waiting played a key part in Royal life, accompanying the late Queen and her sister Princess Margaret on official duties and foreign tours.

But in a sign of the new Queen Consort Camilla’s unfussy approach, they will be replaced by six aides styled ‘Queen’s Companions’. 

Last night the Palace named them as Sarah Troughton, Jane von Westenholz, Fiona the Marchioness of Lansdowne, an interior designer, Lady Katharine Brooke and Baroness Carlyn Chisholm, a Conservative peer. The sixth is Camilla’s close friend Lady Sarah Keswick, whose husband, Sir Chips Keswick, retired as chairman of Arsenal football club in 2020. All have been loyal to Camilla. 

A Palace source said they will receive a nominal fee to cover their expenses in much the same way as ladies-in-waiting.

Meanwhile. a senior royal source told The Sunday Times: ‘The Queen Consort did not want or need ladies-in-waiting and the Queen’s companions will have a different role. They are there to provide Her Majesty with support and company. At the end of a very busy day, it is nice to have a longstanding friend beside you.’  

The position of lady-in-waiting has been scrapped at Buckingham Palace, bringing to an end a centuries-old tradition – in a sign of the new Queen Consort Camilla’s unfussy approach

Last night the Palace named Sarah Troughton (pictured) as one of the 'Queen's Companions'

Last night the Palace named Sarah Troughton (pictured) as one of the ‘Queen’s Companions’

Lady Sarah Keswick (pictured) was also named. Her husband, Sir Chips Keswick, retired as chairman of Arsenal football club in 2020

Lady Sarah Keswick (pictured) was also named. Her husband, Sir Chips Keswick, retired as chairman of Arsenal football club in 2020

Baroness Carlyn Chisholm, a Conservative peer, will be another of the 'Queen's Companion'

Baroness Carlyn Chisholm, a Conservative peer, will be another of the ‘Queen’s Companion’

Fiona the Marchioness of Lansdowne (right), an interior designer, is another appointed to the role

Fiona the Marchioness of Lansdowne (right), an interior designer, is another appointed to the role

All the women are among the inner circle of the King and Queen and believed to be some of the monarchs’ oldest and most loyal friends. 

Lady Lansdowne, 68, is an interior designer with an eye for fashion. She is known professionally as ‘Fiona Shelburne’. Her husband Charles, the Marquess of Lansdowne, is one of the King’s closest friends.  

Lady Lansdowne is the chatelaine of Bowood House in Wiltshire – close to Camilla’s private country estate. Known as ‘Lofty’ to her friends, Jane von Westenholz is married to former Olympic alpine skier Baron von Westenholz.

While Lady Brooke – daughter of Lady Susan Hussey, who is a former lady-in-waiting of the late Queen – is a leading figure in horse racing.  

Sarah Troughton, 69, is the Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire – the first woman to hold the post since its creation almost 500 years ago. She is also the late Queen’s cousin and appeared in the ITV documentary Camillia’s Country Life to mark the Queen Consort’s 75th birthday earlier this year. 

And Lady Sarah is the Queen Consort’s oldest friend and is married to Sir Chips Keswick, the former chairman of Hambros bank and ex-director of Arsenal Football Club. Having a wicked sense of humour, she is described as ‘very funny’ and a ‘great draw at dinner time’ by friends close to her. 

Former nurse Baroness Chisholm is a life peer, having previously represented the Conservatives in the House of Lords. A fan of horse racing, she has previously attended Royal Ascot with the Charles and Camilia and, before the royal couple quit, used to go fox hunting with them too. 

Lady Katherine Brooke, right, pictured with Sir Francis. She is among the closest and most loyal friends of the King and Queen Consort

Lady Katherine Brooke, right, pictured with Sir Francis. She is among the closest and most loyal friends of the King and Queen Consort

Jane von Westenholz is the Queen Consort's sixth companion

Jane von Westenholz is the Queen Consort’s sixth companion 

Combining the roles of companion, adviser and secretary, ladies-in-waiting played a key part in Royal life, accompanying the late Queen and her sister Princess Margaret on official duties and foreign tours.

Combining the roles of companion, adviser and secretary, ladies-in-waiting played a key part in Royal life, accompanying the late Queen and her sister Princess Margaret on official duties and foreign tours. 

The shift in royal tradition has also seen the Queen Consort hire her first dedicated equerry, a male adviser playing the same role. He was last night named as Major Ollie Plunkett, of The Rifles, of which the Queen Consort is Colonel-in-Chief.

He will work alongside her private secretary. Some of the Queen’s Companions will appear publicly with her for the first time on Tuesday, at a Palace reception to highlight violence against women and girls.

Ladies-in-waiting answered correspondence, helped host events and accompanied female Royals on their travels. 

The new role, a Palace source said, was to take into account the changing needs of the 75-year-old Queen Consort who won’t be required ‘to be in attendance as regularly’.

A Palace spokesman said: ‘The role of the Queen’s Companion will be to support the Queen Consort in some of her key official and state duties.’

The late Queen’s ladies-in-waiting have been kept on but will now be known as ladies of the household. They are Lady Susan Hussey, Dame Mary Morrison and Dame Annabel Whitehead.

A Palace spokesman added that the former ladies-in-waiting would ‘continue to assist His Majesty the King in hosting formal occasions at Buckingham Palace’.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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