Queen Consort Camilla Latest Decision Breaks Centuries of Royal Tradition

Queen Camilla
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When King Charles III took the throne following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, it seemed obvious that some changes were coming to the British monarchy. Charles has long made it known that he would like to reduce the monarchy in an attempt to modernize the institution and cut costs for the public. Now, in a small but significant move, the queen consort, Camilla is doing just that.

In a break from tradition, Camilla will do away with her ladies-in-waiting and, as an alternative, will have five personal assistants to be referred to as “Queen’s Companions.” Rumors about this switch have been circulating since Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, but were confirmed by Buckingham Palace on Sunday.

The idea of ladies-in-waiting dates back to the Middle Ages and for centuries, highborn women have been acting as companions and assistants for the monarchy. While Camilla has gotten rid of the traditional title, the Queen’s Companions will still perform similar duties to their predecessors. The new role, however, will be less demanding, and the women will only “on occasion accompany” the Queen to her official duties, according to the Palace.

Charles and Camilla with longtime friend Lady Sarah Keswick in 1979. Keswick is now one of the Queen’s Companions.

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“The role of Queen’s Companion will be to support The Queen Consort in some of her key official and State duties, in addition to her Private Secretary/Deputy Private Secretary,” the statement said.

Camilla’s companions will include some of her longtime friends like Jane von Westenholz, Lady Sarah Keswick, and Fiona, the Marchioness of Lansdowne. There’s also Sarah Troughton, another friend of Camilla’s and a former lady-in-waiting to the Duchess of Kent, as well as Lady Katherine Brooke whose mother Lady Susan Hussey was a long-serving lady-in-waiting to the late Queen. The group is rounded out by Baroness Carlyn Chisholm, a former British politician and member of the House of Lords.