Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Who's Who Behind the Palace Walls: The Ladies in waiting of Royalty

Have you ever wondered who those nice looking ladies were following the Queens and Princess of the world, often appearing like personal assistants? Well, those ladies are the Royal's Lady-in-Waiting. Some Royals have several ladies-in-waiting. Often heads of state have what is know as a First-aide-de-campe.  Their duties vary from royal to country, however, one major task often taken up by these ladies is attending to the needs of the Queen and the Princesses, sometimes representing them in househould matters such as commissioning gifts from craftspeople or arranging for entertainment for parties.

Great Britain
  1. Queen Elizabeth II:
    1. Mistress of Robes:Mary Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire 1953-1967
    2. Mistress of Robes: Ann Fortune FitzRoy, Dogwager Duchess of Grafton 1967-present
    3. Lady-in-waiting: Lady Mary Palmer. Lady Mary Palmer served as an Extra-Lady-in-Waiting, and Lady-in-Waiting to Princess Elizabeth from 1944-1949. Her son, Charles, was a Page of Honour to HM The Queen from 1959 to 1962 and is one of the Queen's 33 godchildren {source}.
    4. Lady-in-waiting: Margaret Seymour. Margaret was Lady-in-waiting to HRH Princess Elizabeth (later HM The Queen) from 1947 to 1952 and a Woman of the Bedchamber to HM The Queen from 1953 to 1975 {source}. Her husband served as private secretary to HRH The Duchess of Kent (Princess Marina of Greece) {source}. Her son, Edward is a godchild of HM Queen Elizabeth II and served as a Page of Honour to HM The Queen from 1964 to 1966.
    5. Lady-in-Waiting: Victoria Rhodes served as Lady-in-Waiting to both The Queen Mother and Queen Elizabeth II from 1991-2002 {source}. She is a godchild of HM Queen Elizabeth II {source}. Her mother is a first cousin of HM The Queen {source}. She was a bridesmaid to HRH Princess Elizabeth (later HM The Queen) in 1947 {source}. Her sister, Annabel Rhodes, is a godchild of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh {source}. Her brother, Simon Rhodes, is a godchild of HRH Princess Margaret{source}. Her cousin Rosemary Elphinstone is a godchild of HM The Queen{source}. Her cousins Andrew and Marilyn Wills are godchildren respectively of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and of HRH Princess Margaret{source}. Victoria is a first cousin once removed of Robin Plunket, 8th Baron Plunket, a godchild of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother {source}.
    6. Lady-in-waiting: Lady Pamela Mountbatten. Lady Mountbatten is the younger daughter of the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Lady Pamela was a first cousin to Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh-her father and his mother were brother and sister.{source} She was a bridesmaid to Princess Elizabeth in her 1947 wedding to Lady Mountbatten's cousin, Phillip. Her daughter is Edwina Hicks, is a godchild of HM The Queen. Her son, Ashley Hicks, is a godchild of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. Her granddaughter, Angelica Hicks, is a godchild of HRH The Prince of Wales. Her cousins, Norton Knatchbull, styled by courtesy Baron Romsey, Honourable Michael Knatchbull and Honourable Nicholas and Honourable Timothy Knatchbull, are godchildren respectively of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, of HM The Queen, and of HRH The Prince of Wales. Her second cousins, Honourable Nicholas and Honourable Alexandra Knatchbull, are godchildren respectively of HRH The Prince of Wales, and of Diana, Princess of Wales. Her second cousin, Kelly Knatchbull, is a godchild of HRH The Princess Royal.
  1. Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother:
    1. Mistress of Robes: Helen Percy, Duchess of Northumberland 1937-1964
    2. Mistress of Robes: Kathleen Hamilton, Duchess of Abercorn 1964-1990
    3. Lady-in-Waiting: The Hon. Margaret Elphinstone was a niece of The Queen Mother and daughter of Sidney Buller-Fullerton-Elphinstone, 16th Lord Elphinstone and 2nd Baron Elphinstone and his wife (who was the Queen Mother's sister) Mary's youngest child and third daughter {Source}. She married  writer Denys Gravenor Rhodes on 30 July 1950, with whom she had five children {Source}. Margaret was a bridesmaid to her cousin  Princess Elizabeth on 20 November 1947, when she was 22 years old{Source}. She served as Lady-in-Waiting to her aunt from 1991-2002{Source}. She was awarded the honor of Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order for her service in 2002. She now resides in grace and favor at Garden House,a residence in Windsor Great Park{Source }. She remains close to her first cousin (formerly Princess Elizabeth, now Queen Elizabeth II),  in the run-up to the Queen's 80th birthday in April 2006, Margaret gave an interview to the BBC in which she confirmed that, in her own opinion and despite several rumours, the Queen would not abdicate {Source }. In July 2011, The Hon. Margaret Rhodes released a memoir, The Final Curtsey, where she recounts her life, and her relationship with her cousin and aunt{Source}. The memoir is available on
    1. Diana, Princess of Wales:
      1. Miss Anne Honor Mary Beckwith-Smith was born in 1951, the daughter of Major Peter Beckwith-Smith and Annabel Newman, and maternal granddaughter of Sir Cecil Newman, 2nd Baronet {Source}. While she was Diana's Lady-in-Waiting from 1981-1997, she was unmarried and was appointed L.V. O. (Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order, 1990) {Source}. Miss Beckwith-Smith held a close relationship with Diana, Princess of Wales. While serving as the Princess’s principal lady-in-waiting, Miss Beckwith-Smith also served her Personal Secretary and helped "with Diana's correspondence, running errands, making appointments and generally taking care of those areas of her life which didn't fall into the domain of Oliver Everett, her private secretary". In late 1986, Anne became the Princess' Assistant Private Secretary, and continued with her duties as Lady-in-Waiting{Source}.
      2. Mrs. George Alston-Roberts-West, was born Hazel Elizabeth Margaret Cook to Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Thomas Cook & Gweneth Margaret Jones on 23 May 1944{Source}. She married the great-grandson of the 1st Duke of Westminister Lieutenant-Colonel George Arthur West {Source}. She was Diana, Princess of Wales extra Lady-in-Waiting from 25 September 1981 until around 1985{Source}.
      3. The Honourable Mrs. Vivian Baring (née Lavinia Gweneth Baring) was born on 1 August 1951 the daughter of Sir Mark Baring and Victoria (Vita) Russell. She married her second cousin, and younger son of the 3rd Earl of Cromer, Honourable Vivian Baring. The Hon. Lavinia Baring served as Diana, Princess of Wales' Extra Lady-in-Waiting 1981-91, then as her Lady-in-Waiting 1991-92{Source}.
      4. Viscountess Campden, née Sarah Rose Winnington, was born on 29 April 1951 the elder daughter of Colonel Thomas Winnington and Lady Betty Marjorie Anson {Source}. She was the paternal niece of Sir Francis Winnington, 6th Baronet and maternal granddaughter of the 4th Earl of Lichfield{Source}. She married Anthony Baptist Noel, styled by courtesy Viscount Campden, son and heir of the 5th Earl of Gainsborough{Source}. She served as Diana, Princess of Wales' Extra Lady-in-Waiting from at least 1985, then as Lady-in-Waiting from 1991-97{Source}. Like Anne Beckwith-Smith, she was appointed L.V.O. (Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order) 1996{Source}.
      5. Miss Alexandra Mary Loyd was born 14 October 1961, the daughter of Sir Julian St. John Loyd and Philippa Mary Emma Steel{Source}. She was the great-granddaughter of the 9th Viscount Middleton. Her father was a land agent to HM The Queen at Sandringham from 1964 to 1991 {Source}. She married Mr. Duncan Byatt in Februrary 1995. She served as Extra Lady-in-Waiting from 1986-91, then Lady-in-Waiting from 1991-97 {Source}.
      6. Mrs. Max Pike, née Jean Mary Howard was born 28 July 1947 to Major-General Lord Michael Fitzalan Howard and Jean Marion Hamilton-Dalrymple{Source}. She was the paternal niece of Major-General Miles Francis Stapleton Fitzalan-Howard, 17th Duke of Norfolk {Source}. She married Max Eben Lecky Pike{Source}. She served as Diana, Princess of Wales' Extra Lady-in-Waiting from 1986-91, then as Lady-in-Waiting 1991-97 {Source}.
      7. Lady Sarah McCorquodale was Diana, Princess of Wales' eldest sister, who was born 19 March 1955 to Edward John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer and The Hon. Frances Ruth Burke Roche{Source}. Like Diana, she is the maternal granddaughter of the 4th Baron Fermoy. {Source}. She married Neil Edmund McCorquodale. She served as Diana, Princess of Wales' Extra-Lady-in-Waiting from 1992-1997.
      8. Mrs. James Lonsdale, née Laura Monica Greig, was born the daughter of Sir Henry Louis Carron Greig and Monica Kathleen Stourton on16 December 1960. She is the maternal niece of 5th Earl of Gainsborough. She married James (Jamie) Leopold Lonsdale {Source}. Her eldest daughter, Leonora Diana Fiona Lonsdale (b. 14 June 1986) is a goddaughter of the late Diana, Princess of Wales{Source}. She served as Diana, Princess of Wales' Extra Lady-in-Waiting from 1989-91, then Lady-in-Waiting 1991-97{Source}.
    1. Anne, Princess Royal:
      1. It is said that the Princess Royal has a total of 11 ladies in waiting. {Source}
      2. One of her ladies-in-waiting since the 1980s is Caroline Doyne-Ditmas. The Princess Royal is Caroline's son, Harry Wallace's godmother.{Source}
      3. Lady-in-waiting: Harriet Colville (1990-present). Harriet's father was Private Secretary to HRH Princess Elizabeth (later HM The Queen) from 1947 to 1949{Source}. Her mother was a Lady-in-Waiting to HRH Princess Elizabeth (later HM The Queen) from 1946 to 1949{Source}. Harriet's husband, David Bowes-Lyon, is a second cousin once removed of HM The Queen through their common ancestor, the 13th Earl of Strathmore. (Sarah's paternal great-grandfather, Honourable Francis Bowes-Lyon, was a younger brother of the 14th Earl of Strathmore, father of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.){Source}. Her son, James Bowes-Lyon, was a Page of Honour to HM The Queen {Source}. Harriet is a godchild of HM Queen Elizabeth II {Source}.

    1. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall:
      1. It was reported in 2004, prior to her marriage to Charles, Prince of Wales, that Camilla would be receiving a team of three dressers and three ladies-in-waiting {Source}.
      2. In 2004, it was speculated that the following may take over as Camilla's initial ladies-in-waiting: Camilla's sister Annabel Elliot, close pals Amanda MacManus, Candida Lycett-Green and Lady Leonora Lichfield - as well as old school friend Kirsty Smallwood {Source}.
        1. Annabel would later be chief interior designer for Prince Charles and Camilla's holiday cottages on the Isles of Scilly{Source}.
        2. Amanda MacManus would later serve as Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall's assistant secretary{Source}. 
    1. Katharine, Duchess of Kent:
      1. Sarah Troughton. Sarah has been The Duchess of Kent's lady-in-waiting since 1990 {source}. Her daughter Rose is the goddaughter of Prince Charles {source}. Sarah is a second cousin of HRH The Prince of Wales through their common ancestor, the 14th Earl of Strathmore. (Sarah's maternal great-grandfather, Honourable Michael Bowes-Lyon, was an elder brother of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother {source}. 
    1. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge:
      1. In May 2011, The Duchess announced that she would not immediately take on a lady-in-waiting. She chose to not take a lady-in-waiting on her first overseas trip to Canada and California in June and July 2011. To this day, The Duchess does not have any known lady-in-waiting {Source}.
      2. Speculated prospective lady-in-waiting was Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's sister, Pippa Middleton {Source}
    1. Sophie, Countess of Wessex
      1. Sarah Sienesi. Sienesi is a former flat-mate of Sophie's. Sienesi was also wedding planenr consultant for William and Cathereine, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's April 2011 wedding. Sienesi was appointed quietly in October 2009 as Sophie's Lady-in-Waiting. There was no formal announcement of Sienesi's appointment.{Source}.

    Queen Margrethe:
      1. Countess Kitty Armfelt, Laine Chamber {Source}Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Margrethe 1955-2008, she was daughter of Count Carl Magnus Mauritz Armfelt, who was Finnish military attaché in Stockholm and his second wife Inge Blechingberg, who married Ambassador Oscar Ludvig Oxholm, owner of Rosenfeldt Castle, inherited by her half-sister, Elsa Oxholm (1929-1991) in 1949 and now owned by her son, Oscar Oxholm Tillisch. Unmarried and lived (1925-2008) {Source}
      2. Mrs Marianne Boel {Source} was a member of The EORTC Charitable Trust until her death in 2010.
      3. Mrs. Camilla Castenskiold {Source}
      4. Mrs. Annette de Scheel {Source}
      5. Mrs. Ane Vibeke Foss {Source}
    Crown Princess Mary:
      1. As of 2008, it is believed that Crown Princess Mary has several ladies-in-waiting.
        1. Countess Victoria Bernstorff-Gyldensteen (as of 2004) {Source}
        2. Caroline Heering  (as of 2006, and in 2007 took on the role as private secretary in addition to her Lady-in-waiting role){Source}
        3. Tanja K. Doky (as of 2007) {Source}
    1. Dame d'Honeur: Madame Virginia Gallico. Virginia was born in 1929 and is the daughter of Sir Noel Curtis-Bennet{Source}. Her father died in London on the night of her first date with boyfriend Baron Eduard Oleg Aleksandrovich von Falz-Fein in 1950, she and her new boyfriend flew to London to be with her family shortly after receiving the news{Source}. She met her first husband when she was seven years old, meeting him when she attended the 1936 Olympics in Berlin with her the British Olympic Committee Chairman father. She was married to Baron Eduard Oleg Aleksandrovich von Falz-Fein from 19 June 1950-1962{Source}. They have one daughter, Ludmila von Falz-Fein who was born in 1951. Ludmila was a dancer, performing as a premier dancer of the London Theater Palladium, where she successfully performed under her stage name Ludmila Nova before ending her career for married life in 1979{Source}.  Virginia was married to American writer Paul Gallico from 1963 until his death in July 1976. It believed she started working at Palace Princier in the either the late 1960s or sometime in the 1970s, or possibly around the time her daughter moved to Monaco in 1979 and her divorce to Baron Eduard Oleg Aleksandrovich von Falz-Fein (1962-ish) and remarriage to Paul William Gallico in 1963. She has a close relationship with Princess Caroline, whom which after the death of Princess Grace she continued to be dame d'Honeur for. In 1999, Princess Caroline asked her to be one of Princess Alexandra of Hanover's godmothers. It is believed that she not only serves Princess Caroline, but also acts as an aide to Princess Stephanie and Princess Charlene.
    1. First Aide-de-Campe: Lieutenant-Colonel Emmanuel LeBegue. Lt-Col. LeBegue is the first aide to Prince Albert of Monaco. Lt-Col LeBegue serves as Prince Albert's personal assistant.
    1. Crown Princess Victoria:
      1. The Crown Princess was given her own household in 2004. The Crown Princess's household consists of a Marshal of Court and a private secretary. {Source}
      2. Her Marshal of Court is  Jörgen Lindström. He is in charge of coordinating the Crown Princess's official engagements {Source}.

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