As the Queen Consort announces her ‘Queen’s Companions’, she has signalled a new age of the Royal Family after ditching the ‘Ladies in Waiting’ title.
During the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, the late monarch and her sister Princess Margaret were accompanied by their ladies-in-waiting, affectionately known as ‘Head Girls; on royal tours and official duties as the women held combined roles of companion, adviser and secretary.
However, indicating a break from tradition, Queen Consort Camilla, 75, will instead enlist six confidantes as her companions, as announced by Buckingham Palace.
Last night the Palace named the Queen’s Companions as Sarah Troughton, Jane von Westenholz, Fiona the Marchioness of Lansdowne, an interior designer, Lady Katharine Brooke and Baroness Carlyn Chisholm, a Conservative peer. The sixth is Camilla’s close friend Lady Sarah Keswick. All have been loyal to Camilla.
A Palace source said they will receive a nominal fee to cover their expenses in much the same way as ladies-in-waiting.
Another source told the Sunday Times: ‘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.’
But who are the Queen Consort’s new companions and how will she rely on them day-to-day? FEMAIL takes a closer look at Camilla’s nearest and dearest.
Sarah Troughton, 69 (pictured during an appearance on Good Morning Britain) has been Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire since 2012
Sarah Troughton, 69, has been Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire since 2012, and is the first woman ever to have held the position since it was created in the 16th century.
Sarah is the second cousin of the King as her grandfather was the brother of Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
Sarah has experience as a lady-in-waiting for Katharine, Duchess of Kent, so she is set to be a helpful friend and confidante for the Queen Consort – although of course, she will hold a different title for Camilla.
The mother-of-three is married to Peter Troughton, who is a trustee of the Royal Collection and also a pro-chancellor at Bath University.
Sarah herself is a trustee of the Community Foundation for Wiltshire and Swindon, where she lives.
Since assuming the role of Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Sarah’s duties have included overseeing the arrangements for royal visits to Wiltshire by members of the Royal Family.
She also represents the monarch and presents awards and medals on his behalf, and liaises with the Wiltshire units of the Armed Forces.
Lady Sarah Keswick
Lady Sarah Keswick (pictured sitting next to the Queen Consort in the Royal Box on Centre Court at Wimbledon in 2011. Left: The late Bruce Forsyth) is married to former Arsenal Chairman Chips Keswick
Lady Sarah Keswick is another close friend of the Queen Consort and King Charles, along with her husband, Sir John Chippendale ‘Chips’ Lindley Keswick.
From 2013 until his retirement in 2020, 82-year-old Chips was chairman of Arsenal Football Club.
Lady Sarah appears to be a sports fan herself, and was spotted at Wimbledon with the Queen Consort in June 2011.
The pair sat in the royal box to get ready for a day of action on Centre Court, while the late TV legend Bruce Forsyth appeared to join them.
The mother-of-three shares three sons, David, Tobias and Adam, with Chips.
Lady Sarah is the daughter of former Conservative MP and 16th Earl of Dalhousie Simon Ramsay.
During his five years in Parliament from 1945 until 1950, when he assumed the title of Earl of Dalhousie from his late brother, Simon did a stint as Conservative whip.
Baroness Carlyn Chisholm of Owlpen (pictured at Royal Ascot in 2021) has served as a Conservative life peer in the House of Lords since 2014 but has resigned the Tory whip after being appointed Queen’s Companion
Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen, 70, is a crossbench life peer in the House of Lords.
However, until she was announced one of the Queen Consort’s Companions, she sat in the House as a Conservative peer.
Baroness Chisholm resigned the Conservative whip in order to hold the position in the Queen Consort’s most relied upon circle.
She was first appointed to the House of Lords in 2014 when David Cameron was prime minister. Since then she has seen four more prime ministers enter Downing Street.
Before entering politics, Baroness Chisholm, from Sussex, worked as a nurse. She is also a mother of three and has four grandchildren.
Fiona Marchioness of Lansdowne
Lady Lansdowne (pictured with her husband Charlie at their home, Bowood House) revealed last year she lives with her three dogs and spends her time looking after the house and grounds
Lady Lansdowne is a professional interior designer and has had her own studio, Fiona Shelburne, for more than three decades.
She currently lives at Bowood House in Wiltshire with her husband Charlie, the 9th Marquis.
Last year, she opened up her house to The English Home in an interview where she revealed she and Charlie lived with their three dogs, Tinker, Tulip and Maud.
Lady Lansdowne also explained she and her husband were custodians for the house, which is open to visits from the public, and admitted it was a ‘big responsibility’ to take care of the home.
Despite having lots of visitors from the public, she said she and her husband had their own ‘sanctuary’ in their private quarters.
She revealed she and her husband have a picnic in their woodland garden every Sunday without fail, even if it’s raining outside.
‘We have our supper here on a table by the fire. We don’t have a huge, “state-of-the-art” kitchen but I love my Aga and love to cook,’ she said.
Lady Katherine Brooke
Lady Katherine Brook (pictured at a garden party in 2013) is the daughter of Lady Susan Hussey, who served as Queen Elizabeth II’s lady-in-waiting for more than 60 years
Lady Katherine Brooke has also been a close friend of Queen Consort Camilla and King Charles for several years.
She is also expected to have plenty of knowledge about her new role as Queen’s Companion, as the daughter of a former lady-in-waiting.
Lady Katherine Brooke’s mother is Lady Susan Hussey, who served as Queen Elizabeth II’s lady-in-waiting for more than 60 years.
Royal Central reported the new Queen’s Companion will join her mother in Buckingham Palace, as Lady Susan Hussey has been retained by the King as a Lady of the Household.
Jane von Westenholz
Jane von Westenholz (pictured with her husband Piers and daughter Violet at the V&A Museum in 2006) is one of the Queen’s Companions
Jane von Westenholz is a long time friend of the Queen Consort and King Charles.
She and her husband Piers are the parents of Violet von Westenholz, who introduced Prince Harry to Meghan Markle when the pair started dating.
Violet is a close childhood friend of Harry’s and the pair often spent time together as children due to their parents’ close friendship.
At the time of introducing the pair, Violet was working in communications for Ralph Lauren in London and met Meghan Markle through her job, E! reports.