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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Camilla drops traditional ladies-in-waiting in favour of ‘Queen’s companions’

The Queen Consort, Camilla, has named six “Queen’s companions” to help carry out her official duties in the place of traditional ladies-in-waiting, Buckingham Palace has said.

The ladies-in-waiting of a female monarch or monarch’s spouse have formed an inner circle to assist them with their duties for generations.

They are usually some of the royal’s closest and most trusted friends. Queen Elizabeth II had seven ladies-in-waiting when she died, some of whom were in her service for more than 60 years.

It is thought the Queen’s companions named by Camilla, 75, will take on a scaled-back role, with more responsibilities instead falling to her equerry, private secretary and deputy private secretary.

Camilla’s six companions include her trusted friends Sarah Troughton, Jane von Westenholz and Fiona, the Marchioness of Lansdowne, who is a professional interior designer, Lady Katharine Brooke and Baroness Carlyn Chisholm, who is now a non-affiliated peer but previously sat on the Conservative benches.

The sixth is Camilla’s close friend Lady Sarah Keswick, whose husband, Sir Chips Keswick, retired as Arsenal chairman in 2020 after spending 15 years on the board at the north London football club, according to Tatler.

Some of the women are set to appear publicly with her for the first time at a reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, which will raise awareness of gender-based violence against women and girls.

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Major Ollie Plunket, of The Rifles, has been appointed Camilla’s equerry and it is believed his role is to look after her diary and accompany her at official events.

Lady Susan Hussey, Mary Morrison and Dame Annabel Whitehead, who were among the late Queen’s ladies-in-waiting, will remain part of the royal fold, now known as ladies of the household.

They will continue their role of assisting the King in hosting formal occasions at Buckingham Palace, which they have done since he acceded to the throne following his mother’s death.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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