Queen Camilla appoints her new ladies-in-waiting, only they’re ‘companions’ now

There have been comments about how we need a good site nickname for Queen Consort Camilla. I don’t think we can do any better than the nickname Princess Diana gave her: the Rottweiler. It’s particularly mean though, so I probably won’t use it that much. I also sometimes called her “the boozehound” when she was Duchess of Cornwall, which I still think is an issue here. My pet theory is that her mysterious trip to India last month was to dry out. I’m also somewhat surprised by how lowkey Camilla has been since she became queen – there’s been no promotional blitz, nor has she done many solo events. Probably because when she does solo events, her interactions are awkward as hell, like when she held a small child’s arm up by the sleeve. Anyway, Camilla has taken this long to put together her list of royal ladies-in-waiting. It’s an actual position within the royal court, lady helpers to the queen. Only Camilla doesn’t want them to be called ladies in waiting.

The new Queen has appointed six of her closest friends as “Queen’s companions”, replacing the traditional role of royal ladies-in-waiting. In a move marking a significant departure in style from the late Queen, whose ladies-in-waiting were in constant attendance wherever she went, Camilla’s “companions” will have far lighter duties, accompanying her to only a few key events each year.

The six longstanding confidantes from the King and Queen’s inner circle will provide her with “personal support” for some official and state duties. They are the Marchioness of Lansdowne, the Hon Lady (Katharine) Brooke, Jane von Westenholz, Sarah Troughton, Lady Sarah Keswick and Baroness “Carlyn” Chisholm.

Several of them are expected to join the Queen in their new roles for the first time at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, when Camilla will host a high-profile reception raising awareness of violence against women and girls. They will also accompany her to the coronation on May 6 at Westminster Abbey and at the next state opening of parliament.

The Queen’s companions will have less formal roles than the late Queen’s ladies-in-waiting, who had been involved in every aspect of her life, moving with the monarch wherever she was in residence and handling her correspondence. Instead, Camilla’s gang of six will occasionally assist with hosting events and engagements, where they will chat to guests, accept flowers on her behalf and help boost the Queen’s humour and energy levels. On occasion, they will join Camilla on an engagement instead of a private secretary. But much of the more official work that ladies-in-waiting used to do will now be carried out by Camilla’s private secretaries and other aides in her private office.

A senior royal source said: “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.”

Like the late Queen’s ladies-in-waiting, Camilla’s companions will not be paid a salary but will receive a nominal amount to cover expenses.

[From The Times]

“Camilla’s companions will not be paid a salary but will receive a nominal amount to cover expenses…” Eh. I get that this is supposed to be a streamlined monarchy and all of that, but it’s ridiculous to “appoint” companions and not pay them properly? It does sound like Camilla is doing more of a phase-out of the traditional ladies-in-waiting duties. Her companions won’t be tasked the same way QEII’s ladies were. Camilla will have paid staffers answer her correspondence or organize her events, which is how it should be in a professional office. That being said, is Camilla making them into “companions” so it can be more gender-neutral? As in, it might be possible (in theory) to appoint a dear old male friend as the Queen’s companion? Andrew Parker Bowles, your time is now.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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68 Responses to “Queen Camilla appoints her new ladies-in-waiting, only they’re ‘companions’ now”

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  1. Josephine says:

    I’m sure they will get plenty of compensation for sitting around and boozing with her and helping her do nothing. I’m a broken record but I simply don’t understand how the people there put up with this crap. A bunch of privileged people finding ways to pay each other to continue to be privileged and laugh at the commoners paying for it all while they starve. Revolting.

    • SquiddusMaximus says:

      So on the mark, Josephine. Ever since John Oliver’s snarky expose of the monarchy, I’ve been homing on on their finances like a bloodhound — namely, who is actually paying for what. In this case, considering the monarchy makes millions$$$ per year off *stolen* land AND doesn’t pay taxes, AND receives an additional Sovereign Grants (to do… stuff), who is paying for dear Cammy’s companions to drink and gossip alongside her?

      If Chuck really wanted to modernize the monarchy, he could start by fucking acknowledging the roots of the institution, paying taxes, relinquishing the Sovereign Grant, and attempting some degree of historical accountability by giving back to historically marginalized/abused demographics.


  2. Becks1 says:

    the Queen’s ladies in waiting moved everywhere with her, as she switched houses around the country? didn’t they have their own families? Did they live at Windsor or BP or Sandringham or Balmoral with her?

    At least it seems Camilla is modernizing this one thing, even slightly. Having friends around her at a major event like the coronation makes sense, and it sounds like for the most part they still get to live their lives.

    PS I liked my idea of “The Queen Mistress” for her lol.

    • Nic919 says:

      Basically the ladies in waiting had shifts so they didn’t have to be with her 24/7 but it was an antiquated expectation that these women would give up a large portion of their time to serve the queen.

      Seeing as how they were reviewing correspondence and doing actual work, camilla changing this makes more sense. If they aren’t getting paid a real salary they shouldn’t be doing drudge work or expect to be there all the time.

    • KT says:

      Of course Ladies-in-Waiting were traditionally (back when the monarchy had power) unmarried at first, and were sent to court to find rich and powerful husbands, or to politically influence the monarch to favour their families of origin.

      It really should have been turned into a salaried role long ago.

    • windyriver says:

      Someone a while back referred to the pair as the Mistress Queen and Tampon King, and since then that’s how I always think of them….

    • Lucy says:

      India Hicks mother is Lady Mountbatten (? Maybe? I think?), anyway she was a lady in waiting to the Queen and went with her on the World tour after Elizabeth was crowned. She was married by then, I believe. But she really did just up and go on a several months long tour with the Queen, I believe her husband came too. She’s still alive, has a book coming out in the spring.

      Also, when she was a child, her parents took her on a tour of Europe, decided the children were slowing them down, and left her and her sibling with the governess in a hotel for like five months. Part of why it was so long was THEY FORGOT WHICH HOTEL. Like, didn’t remember what city their children were in.

      Anyway, that’s a part of aristocracy I find fascinating.

      • windyriver says:

        Her mother is Lady Pamela Hicks, younger of the two daughters of Lord Mountbatten and his wife Edwina. I don’t know if you read the story about leaving the children in the same book I did – Daughter of Empire. It wasn’t her parents who left them there – her mother was traveling with her (male) lover, who was basically accepted as part of the family. The circumstances for putting them there were related to early days of the looming war in Europe. Once her mother remembered where they were, she came back to get them – traveling with her husband’s (female) lover. Just one big happy family. Much is said about Mountbatten’s history re: young boys, but he and his wife’s behavior from early on in their marriage was also pretty eye opening. I stopped reading shortly after that; had enough of the colorful behavior of the aristocracy.

        Final piece of interest – at the end of her life (she died of unknown causes at 58) Edwina Mountbatten was in a relationship with Nehru.

      • Prairiegirl says:

        India Hicks was one of Princess Diana’s bridesmaids – the little blond one who sucked her thumb on the balcony, if memory serves. She’s extraordinarily well connected.

      • KT says:

        When people talk about natural mothering instincts and how shocking they find news stories about maternal neglect I always think about how aristocratic women used to hand their kids off to wet nurses as soon as they were born, and then dry nurses, and governesses/boarding schools….

      • Lucy says:

        Thanks for the correct story, Windyriver. I follow India on Facebook, she briefly had an accessories line I coveted. She’s been doing regular Facebook lives with her mother, and someone asked about the traveling story. Her mother didn’t see what the big deal was, and the part about the mothers lovers wasn’t mentioned 😂

  3. Amy Bee says:

    Doesn’t seem much different to the role of lady in waiting. I’m surprised she didn’t appoint her sister as one of her companions. Apparently ladies in waiting didn’t get a salary either they just got a per diem. It’s one of the reasons why ladies in waiting usually came from the aristocracy. They were rich enough that they didn’t need a salary. Seems like Camilla’s companions are all aristos as well.

    • Tessa says:

      Yes why not her sister and one of her nieces

      • Amy Bee says:

        She’s taken her sister on engagements in the past and has done so since becoming Queen. This is why I’m surprised she didn’t appoint her sister as an companion.

    • Cairidh says:

      Usually only aristocrats, titled ladies are allowed to be ladies in waiting. Camillas sister wouldn’t be considered high status enough. They were descended from an aristocratic family but far removed from having titles.

      • Jais says:

        Is it set in stone that it can only be titled aristocrats? And I’m sorry but that’s messed up. Although, anyone else might expect to get paid.

  4. dina says:

    Have you guys heard the expression ” rode hard and put away wet”?, cuz that’s what crosses my mind whenever I see this woman lol

    • Pam says:

      You almost made me spit out my tea! I always howl with laughter at that expression!

      I’m not completely adverse to her decision…like someone said, these people will at least get to live their lives, too. Somehow, I don’t think the lady-in-waiting position (by whatever name) is going to be nearly as exciting as we all saw on the show “The Tudors.” 🤣🤣🤣

    • Jennifer says:

      I ALWAYS think that too!!!!

  5. Cairidh says:

    Camilla looks awkward, stiff and dour in many of her recent appearances, not just the one with black children. Her smiles seem not genuine whereas she usually has very smiley eyes. Perhaps she’s unwell?? Or suffering from painful arthritis which makes her move stiffly?

    • Roo says:

      She has seemed out of sorts – almost shell shocked – since the funeral. I think the reality of her position finally hit her: All of her scandal was coming out again in The Crown; she wasn’t and isn’t well-liked by the masses; her husband is a fussy old man and an unpopular king; her remaining son in law and his wife are lazy and inept; and the family lost a lot of goodwill with their mistreatment of H andM.

      Her foreseeable future is a series of boring state dinners, receptions and royal tours, not a quiet and boozy existence at her manor.

    • Dilettante says:

      Or unhappy with the cards she played?

  6. Virginia says:

    Are these supposed to be close friends of the queen consort? If so, who will Kate choose (assuming she makes it that far)? Outside of Pipa, does she have any friends?

    • Becks1 says:

      rose Hanbury 🤣🤣🤣

    • Cairidh says:

      Other female members of the royal family also traditionally had ladies in waiting. Diana did.
      When Kate first married she was expected to appoint some. She asked to have Pippa but the palace said no (its usually only aristocratic ladies allowed). So then Kate said she didn’t want any at all. She sees other women as a threat. They would take attention away from her at events, and also probably catch Williams eye.

      • Amy Bee says:

        Kate has no friends amongst the aristo women so there would be no one for her to select as ladies in waiting.

      • Esmerelda says:

        Didn’t Pippa’s husband’s family outright buy a title?

        By the time Kate’s crowned, Pips will be Lady Something, or close enough to be selected as “royal companion”. If Camilla ever appoints APB (and it would be hilarious if she restarted that triangle with the roles swapped), Kate can have her brother made Baron Marshmallow and appoint him too. Maybe throw in Ben Anslie, royal companion extraordinarie.
        Can Will have royal companions too, I wonder?

        I’m tired of RR bashing Harry and Meghan to get some copy, let’s get a good ole saucy scandal going, please! (Not you, Andy!)

    • Smart&Messy says:

      I had the same thought while reading the article. Kate has no commoner friends, and def no aristocrat will take on a supporting role to her. My guess is that she will ‘modernize’ her role by not appointing anyone, just having paid staff. Making her mark, you know.

      • eve says:

        The toffs are pro Rose. Look at Tatler, about 2 or 3 issues ago, the magazine wrote an article about Rose and Marina. And they also had a picture of Rose on the same society page as Kate.

    • C-Shell says:

      I was JUST going to make that observation! IF KKKHate makes it to QC, who, oh who, could she choose?! She appears to have no friends at all, especially women who are a constant threat and competition. The snickering and sneering behind her back would be so entertaining!

    • Pam says:

      Kate would probably like a bevy of hot tennis dudes…

  7. Stef says:

    Queen Consort horseface has chosen her 6 stable hands to help her drink and be merry. Seems ridiculous to think that rich royalty people pay other rich people to be their friends.

  8. Andy Dufresne says:

    Some of these “companions” come from Tory backgrounds, which is very interesting…

  9. Amy Bee says:

    BTW, Camilla is having a reception today to mark UN 16 days of activism which starts on the international day for the end of violence against women and ends on world human rights day. Interesting that the Palace all into acknowledging the work of the UN now but made Meghan give up her role with UN women.

  10. Feeshalori says:

    I imagine her stalwart companions will be passing her discreet little flasks of whiskey to help boost her humor and energy levels at her appearances.

  11. Mrs. Smith says:

    Good call on the rehab trip to India. She’s looked thinner and grumpier since her return. It also would explain her awkward behavior at events lately. She probably needed to knock back a couple before facing a day of smiling and handshakes. No judgement.

  12. TikiChica says:

    The Rottweiler refers to someone who won’t let go, like a dog with a bone. It’s certainly apt and not at all too mean a nickname.

  13. ML says:

    I’ve known nice rottweiler dogs, so it seems kind of mean from a canine perspective to call QC that. Camzilla or Campon?
    From a distance, rebranding “ladies in waiting” to companions seems like a good call. If it works out, time will tell, but the gender-neutral term and job description is an improvement.

    • Tigerlily says:

      @ML true, my stepson had a very mellow rottie when his daughters were young. Not a great watchdog (they lived on my husband’s farm) as when anyone came in the yard she’d roll on her back for tummy rubs 🤦‍♀️

  14. Emily_C says:

    I don’t know who would want to be a “companion” of any kind to this woman. At least she probably won’t try to strangle you, so she’s safer than her husband. And I guess you’d get a lot of gossip. Not worth it.

    I had a dream the other night that my husband and I had Meghan and Harry over for dinner and a movie, and I woke up thinking “aww” because that won’t ever happen. I would never think “aww” about not being friends with Camilla and her tampon.

  15. Hannah says:

    I read that Lady Glenconner biography “Lady In Waiting” to see how Toffs in the 50’s – 70’s lived. Basically they’re all bat shit crazy, incestuous, wife-beating, pheasant shooting, raging alcoholics — so not much has changed really

    TL:DR She was Princess Margaret’s LIW. And, at great expense to herself, “nursed/nannied” Princess Margaret through some seriously effed up times

    – It’s an intriguing read into how the 1% live/d
    – ladies in waiting didn’t get paid a penny (it actually cost them money)
    – the late 90’s supermodel, Stella Tennant, is a granddaughter of Lady Glenconner’s and one of the Mitford sisters

    This whole companion / lady in waiting stuff needs to go. These ladies are in their 70’s

    As usual, signing off with #AbolishTheMonarchy

  16. SquiddusMaximus says:

    At the risk of invoking the ire of the crowd…

    Cammy is the one vaguely interesting one of the whole bunch, and the only one I think is worth a fart. Unlike her vaguely unhinged husband and useless daughter/son in-law, she has really devoted herself to her causes and generally flies under the radar. She doesn’t pretend to represent a glitzy new monarchy, and she seems rather humble. And I LOVE pleasantly blitzed grandmotherly type who likes to gossip. She seems great fun.

    100% acknowledge the Diana mess, but I’m hard-pressed to lay the blame at Cammy’s feet. The one with the power was Charles/the monarchy. She was involved, but by no means the instigator. I just wish she had better taste.

    • Concern Fae says:

      Nope. People writing about the situation have said that it was Camilla who pushed Charles to stop sleeping with Diana. That was really what pushed the situation into completely unworkable. Diana might have been able to handle an unfaithful husband, but having to be the public wife for a man who had completely rejected her for another woman (at 25!) was impossible. And I don’t think that’s something Charles would have done without pushing.

      • Tessa says:

        Camilla had and has a free will and could have walked away when Charles got engaged. Instead she pretended to be Diana’s friend when Diana was still a teenager. I see her as ruthless in the way she got where she is today. Not some fun grandmother type. Camilla had no choice but to do charity work. Nothing heroic about her doing work she is supposed to be doing.

    • Jais says:

      Idk that she’s really great fun. Get the feeling she’s quite mean and manipulative. But the PR push of her as the fun gossipy grandmother type must be working.

    • Tessa says:

      I would not say Diana mess but the Charles mess.

    • ML says:

      Where I agree with you: I place far more blame with Charles than Camilla in the Diana situation as he was the one with the most power.
      Where I disagree with you: grandmotherly?! https://www.celebitchy.com/794145/queen_camilla_awkwardly_passed_out_paddington_bears_to_nursery_school_kids/
      Remember Meghan and Harry’s relationship to the Daily Fail? Tobyn Andreae was hired by KC and QCC due to his close relationship to Camilla.

      • Tessa says:

        Charles has power but not enough to force Camilla to stay with him
        Camilla was always free to walk away but did not want to. Charles could not keep Anna Wallace and Amanda knatchbull from walking away

      • ML says:

        Tessa, I don’t think Camzilla is blameless with Diana, I just see KC as the main architect of that mess. Prince “Whatever love means” felt “forced” by his parents to marry a 19-yr-old for her virginal body and presumed subservience. IN THE 1980s! He didn’t 86 the Camzilla relationship…. If KC had stood up to his parents and/or cut ties with Camz, Diana would probably have suffered a lot less. Charles enabled Camz, without which her power to hurt Diana would have been less.

      • Tessa says:

        Charles is very contradictory. He told dimbleby he felt forced to marry Diana yet it was Camilla who was said to have approved of Diana. I do not believe he was forced he tends not to accept responsibility for his own actions and he was 32 when he decided to marry Diana

      • Jaded says:

        @Tessa, I think Camzilla encouraged Charles to marry Diana because she knew he didn’t love her, but had to pump out an heir and a spare. She was a perfect choice — an aristocrat, a virgin, and what they thought was a malleable young woman who would kowtow to The Firm. Boy were they wrong….

    • TheVolvesSeidr says:

      And there’s the whole racist thing. Camilla and the whole brood are racist.

  17. Chantal says:

    I think Camzilla (thanks to whoever coined this term) goes perfectly with C-Rex, since they are both antiquated creatures. Rottweiler will always be my favorite though…
    Why does she need six companions if she’s minimizing or eliminating some of their duties? Sounds like C-Rex has found yet another way of pocketing more of that SG money for himself…

    Kaiser, love the theory about APB! An ex husband as a companion. Sounds scandalous! Will he get a title for not putting Chuck on blast all these years? Will he allow APB to be that close in proximity that frequently to Cam? What will Princess Anne say? Popcorn ready!

    • SarahCS says:

      Very much yes to Camzilla and C-Rex.

    • Jaded says:

      I love that Diana called her “The Rottweiler”, something for which I am eternally grateful. I named her Camzilla so thanks for the shout out. APB will be right at home and who knows, maybe he and Anne can have another fling!

  18. Zut Alors says:

    Do the other European queens have ladies in waiting or companions or is this strictly a British thing?

  19. Pumpkin (Was Sofia) says:

    I think it’s good to update the system a bit. Plus with actual staff around to do things ladies-in-waiting used to do, it’s also a good idea to update the title to match the updated “job” description

  20. MangoAngelesque says:

    I still think she should just be Consort Camilla, or Consort Cam. It’s accurate, while still being just a bit shady, and not mean.

  21. HeyKay says:

    The entire BRF is SO out of date. Completely in the dark ages.

  22. Pam says:

    Unlike all the past ladies-in-waiting (ex. The Tudors), I don’t think any of these women are going to be after her man…

  23. Sue E Generis says:

    So this is exactly like Trump not taking a salary (no proof he didn’t keep the money btw). He stole hundreds of millions instead, overcharged the Secret Service to benefit his properties and facilitated Ivanka making $640 million in office and $2B after.

    That throwaway line about not receiving a salary but a vague amount to ‘cover expenses’ is exactly how the RF suck money from the public teat. Expenses could be their mortgages, home repair, cars, clothing, travel….

  24. Robin Samuels says:

    The Royal Family does not pay competitive salaries, and therefore, payment for expenses incurred may be the better deal. In summary, the Ladies in Waiting are the Queen Consort’s staff. How many are directly or indirectly connected to the media or #10 Downing Street? Angela Levin must feel let down; she didn’t qualify.
    Queen Consort and her girls enjoyed every amenity offered at the spa in India, even though I see no marked improvement in her appearance. Her skin sends mixed messages. United, she and her “companions” will spend as much of the people’s money as possible because there’s plenty, and there will be no complaints.

  25. Patricia says:

    I think “ Queen side piece “ would work.