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Queen Consort Camilla breaks with royal tradition as royals 'move with the times'

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It has been reported that the Queen Consort believes having a small amount of royal staff at the palace is “more with the times” and that she will organise things “a little differently”. Camilla will part from tradition and not have any ladies-in-waiting, according to a source reported by the Daily Mail. 

Historically, a lady-in-waiting was a personal assistant for a noblewoman who was a companion, but nowadays it is more of an administrative role. 

The source said: “The Queen Consort will do things a little differently. She currently has two private secretaries who do some of those traditional duties anyway.

“And she has quite a lot of good and decent friends around her whom she can call on, as and when is necessary, to support her. I suspect she’ll dip into her close circle of friends, maybe geographically.

“She has a lot of chums in London and Scotland, as well as in the country too. She thinks it’s more with the times.”

Picture of Queen Consort Camilla

Queen Consort Camilla will not have any ladies-in-waiting (Image: Getty Images)

Picture of Sophie Densham

Sophie Densham, Camilla private secretary (Image: Getty Images)

The Queen Consort currently has two private secretaries, Sophie Densham, and deputy, Belinda Kim, who are in charge of Camilla’s schedule. 

Their responsibilities include organising the royal diary and arranging public engagements, plus they already travel with the Queen Consort at official events. 

Camilla may hire more staff to help with more duties in the future, but is known for keeping up with her own correspondence, and wrote over 2,000 letters last year. 

If any other duties are needed that would traditionally be done by a lady-in-waiting, it is expected Camilla will ask friends such as Baroness Jane Westenholz, who the Queen Consort calls ‘Lofty’, to help when necessary. 

READ MORE: King Charles' plans to attend Cop27 summit stopped by Liz Truss

Picture of Queen Elizabeth with a lady-in-waiting

Despite now being elderly women themselves, some ladies-in-waiting stayed the Queen until her death (Image: Getty Images)

The Queen with a lady-in-waiting

Some of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting were with her for over 60 years (Image: Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth had 30 ladies-in-waiting during her 70 years on the throne, and they were affectionately given the nickname ‘head girls’. 

Being a lady-in-waiting is not a paid position but were some of the former monarch’s most trusted companions, with some ladies-in-waiting having attended the Queen for over 60 years.

Despite now being elderly women themselves, many wished to continued to serve Queen Elizabeth II until her death earlier this month.

The ladies-in-waiting under the Queen were led by Lady Susan Hussey, age 83, who had been with the Queen since 1960, the year of Prince Andrew’s birth.

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Picture of Lady Susan Hussey

Lady Susan Hussey, the leader of Queen Elizabeth's ladies-in-waiting (Image: Getty Images)

The source told the Daily Mail: “When [Camilla] got married and set up her own office for the first time she got two brilliant private secretaries, Amanda Macmanus and Joy Camm. 

“But they were very much ‘two for the price of one’. Not only did they arrange all her engagements and projects, but they also acted as ladies-in-waiting if needed, accompanying her on official duties, collecting bouquets of flowers and the like.

“No one stands on ceremony in her office, everyone mucks in.

“The feeling is that although things have changed dramatically in many respects, she won’t take on an official line-up of ladies-in-waiting.”