Camilla just broke a major royal tradition, scrapping queen's ladies-in-waiting

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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images
  • Camilla will not have ladies-in-waiting but queen's companions.
  • The change is in keeping with King Charles' modern monarchy and will see fewer women in the coveted role.
  • While they will accompany Camilla on official, public engagements, they will not hold as much responsibility as Queen Elizabeth's ladies-in-waiting.

In her new role as queen, Camilla has scrapped the ladies-in-waiting and instead appointed several women to be queen's companions.

While the former ladies-in-waiting will become ladies of the household who will assist the king at Buckingham Palace, according to Sky News, the queen's companions will not carry out as many duties.

The change is in keeping with King Charles' vision for a slimmed-down and more modern monarchy.

The king himself has recently requested changes to his Counsellors of State, hoping to give the Princess Royal and Prince Edward more of a role within the firm as the institution distances itself from Princes Andrew and Harry.

The queen's companions, a position granted to only six women, will attend to fewer duties.

Though they will help at official engagements – as in the case of the Violence Against Women and Girls reception held on Tuesday at the palace, which of course, drew criticism following comments from one senior member of the household – they will not necessarily be assisting in correspondence or administration, BBC explains.

"Replacing the role of lady-in-waiting will end a feature of court life going back to the middle ages, with such close personal helpers of a Queen often coming from aristocratic families and, over the centuries, sometimes caught up in court intrigue.

"The new 'companions' will be a more occasional and informal position, supporting the Queen Consort at official engagements and not involved in replying to letters or day-to-day planning.

"They don't receive a salary, but their expenses will be covered."


Following Tuesday's reception, Susan Hussey, 83, was dismissed from her position. A godmother to Prince William and former lady-in-waiting turned lady-of-the-household, Hussey repeatedly asked a black British charity campaigner where she was "really" from.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement it took the incident "extremely seriously" and called the comments "unacceptable and deeply regrettable".

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