The Queen’s inner circle of ladies-in-waiting – ‘number one’ and invaluable support

In recent months, the Queen has lost two of her closest ladies-in-waiting, who were also dear friends and trusted confidantes of the monarch. But there is always a group of women dedicated to helping the monarch fulfill her royal duties.

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Susan Rhodes joins the Queen as she watches the Cenotaph in 2021

In order to fulfill her duties as Queen, Her Majesty relies on a group of trusted women to help her do her job.

Known as ladies-in-waiting, these women offer all possible assistance to the monarch and are often seen alongside her during royal engagements.

In fact, many have even been described as some of his closest friends and most trusted confidants.

However, in recent months the Queen has lost two of her closest ladies-in-waiting in quick succession.

In early December, the Duchess of Grafton died aged 101 after serving the Royal Household throughout the Queen’s 69-year reign.

And yesterday it was revealed that Lady Farnham, another lady-in-waiting, had died aged 90.

The Queen has a group of ladies-in-waiting who support her in her duties


POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

But who are some of her other ladies-in-waiting helping her through this sad time? Here we take a look…

Lady Susan Hussey

Lady Susan has been a longtime lady-in-waiting, having joined the Royal Household in 1960 to help answer correspondence.

According to Tatler, she quickly became affectionately known in the office as the “Number One Head Girl”.

Lady Susan Hussey with the Queen and her racing director John Warren


Getty Images)

As lady-in-waiting, she accompanied the Queen in the car when she arrived at the funeral of her beloved husband Prince Philip last April.

It is believed the Queen personally asked Lady Susan, 81, to sit with her as she made her way to St George’s Chapel.

Lady Susan is also Prince William’s godmother and is also said to be a friend of Prince Charles.

Susan Rhodes

Susan Rhodes with the Queen on Remembrance Sunday in 2020


Getty Images)

Susan Rhodes is a relatively new addition to the ladies-in-waiting team after being named in 2017.

She is married to Simon Rhodes, whose late mother Margaret was a close friend and cousin of the Queen, and was also a bridesmaid when she married Prince Philip in 1947.

In 2020, Susan joined the so-called HMS Bubble, which was formed at Windsor Castle to protect the Queen from the Covid pandemic.

That year she also stood next to the Queen on the balcony of the Foreign Office overlooking the annual Remembrance Sunday service in central London.

The Honorable Mary Morrison

The Honorable Mary Morrison with the Queen and Prince Philip in 2002


Tim Graham/Getty Images)

The Honorable Mary Morrison has worked closely with the Queen since 1960 and is said to share her passion for horse racing.

She was made a Dame Commander in 2013, but chooses not to use the style and instead uses the title The Honorable.

In 2018, she reportedly scared the Queen after she tumbled down the stairs at Balmoral and broke her ankle.

According to Daily mailMary and the Queen were walking down a staircase leading to the castle ballroom, where a party was being held.

A source said: ‘She almost flew Her Majesty.

However, luckily, she recovered and is still in the service of the monarch.

Lady Annabel Whitehead

Lady Annabel Whitehead at Royal Ascot



Dame Annabel Whitehead would be an invaluable source of support for the monarch.

By his side throughout a very difficult few months, royal sources credit him with guiding the Queen through the summer of last year.

However, Dame Annabel, 71, usually keeps a low profile when she accompanies the monarch on official engagements.

Lady Elizabeth Leeming

Like Susan Rhodes, Lady Elizabeth Leeming is a new recruit having been named lady of honor in 2017.

She is actually related to the Queen as a first cousin once removed.

This is because her father, the 17th Earl of Strathmore & Kinghorne was the Queen’s first cousin.

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