Prince Philip: Commentator on ‘precious’ time with the Queen
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The Queen’s close friend and lady-in-waiting, Diana, Lady Farnham, died in December 2021 at the age of 90. Lady Farnham served as Lady of the Bedchamber for more than 30 years, having been appointed as a lady-in-waiting to the Queen in 1987.
The Queen is said to be devastated by the death of Lady Farnham, who died less than a month after another of the Queen’s ladies-in-waiting, the Duchess of Grafton.
A royal source told The Telegraph: “It is very sad for the Queen. Everyone loved Lady Farnham, she was always so good humoured.
“She was also a very glamorous and attractive woman.
“She was always very generous to new people joining the household.
“It has not been a good year for the Queen – losing her husband and then the Duchess of Grafton and now Lady Farnham.”
As well as serving the Queen in an official capacity, the Queen’s ladies-in-waiting are also usually close friends of the monarch.
The royal source added: “They were dear friends who supported the Queen on official duties.
“Unfortunately a sad consequence of living a long life is that you have to say goodbye to a lot of people you care about.”
What does the role of lady-in-waiting entail?
The role of lady-in-waiting has existed in Britain for centuries, and often ladies-in-waiting hail from the nobility.
Ladies-in-waiting assist the Queen with her official duties.
As such, they may be entrusted to assist with running errands and attend to personal matters.
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Ladies-in-waiting may also deal with some of the monarch’s correspondence.
There are specific roles some ladies-in-waiting hold, including the role of Mistress of the Robes.
The Mistress of the Robes is responsible for managing the Queen’s wardrobe, while the Woman of the Bedchamber is also responsible for helping the monarch to dress.
The role of a lady-in-waiting is not paid, but the Queen may pay for certain expenses like travel and clothing.
The Queen has several ladies-in-waiting, including Lady Susan Hussey, Susan Rhodes, Lady Elizabeth Leeming, and The Hon. Mary Morrison.
Susan Rhodes appeared alongside the Queen on the balcony of the Foreign Office for Remembrance Sunday in 2020.
And Lady Susan Hussey accompanied the Queen in the State Bentley for the funeral of her husband of more than seven decades, Prince Philip, in April 2021.
Last year, the Queen’s Mistress of the Robes, the Duchess of Grafton, died at the age of 101.
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