The coronation of King Charles III was both glorious and dazzling, a perfect combination of glittering historical pageantry mixed with protocol. While many of the faces that spectators saw walking down the aisle of Westminster Abbey were familiar, two new faces soon became one of the most talked about (and questioned) of the day: Who were the two ladies in white dresses closely following Queen Camilla?
One of the women is Annabel Elliott, who is the Queen’s sister, and the other is Lady Lansdowne, also known as Fiona Mary Petty-Fitzmaurice, the Marchioness of Lansdowne. Both women were personally chosen by Queen Camilla, and hold the very special royal role of Queen’s Companion. With only six women holding this title, it’s important to note that they are not called “ladies in waiting”, a title previously given to female companions of a queen. The title change is one requested by Queen Camilla to modernize the role of the six women, and to make it more informal.
Historically, a lady-in-waiting was a female personal assistant at court who would be at the beck and call of either a female royal or noblewoman. The lady in waiting would always be of lesser social rank than the woman she was serving, although it was still a prestigious position.
There you have it, the two no-longer-mysterious women and their titles revealed.