Ladies in Waiting (Annotated)

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Thankfully my mummy got a video and the girl to the left of me got some photos. It was just amazing! Laura-Ann took a picture of the menu for the event, which included an array of sweet and savoury treats as well as cold beverages for guests cool off in the hot weather.

The Queen will welcome more than 30, to the grounds of Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse this summer. Around 27, cups of tea, 20, sandwiches and 20, slices of cake are consumed at royal garden parties every year. The annual Buckingham Palace garden parties was started in the s by Queen Victoria as a way to recognise and reward people from all walks of life who have made significant contributions to their communities.

However, her lady-in-waiting told Laura-Ann off for passing the Queen a gift outdoors. The ladies-in-waiting in China, referred to as palace women , palace ladies or court ladies , were all formally if not always in practice a part of the emperors harem, regardless of their task, and could be promoted by him to the rank of official concubine, consort or even empress. At least during the Song dynasty — , the palace women were divided in three groups: Imperial women, consisting of concubines and consorts; Imperial daughters, consisting of daughters and sisters of the emperor; and the female officials and assistants, who performed a wide range of tasks and could potentially be promoted to that of concubine or consort.

During the Ming Dynasty — , palace women were sorted into roughly the same three categories as in the Song. Throughout the Ming, there was frequent movement between the palace service industry and the low levels of the imperial harem. As the Ming dynasty progressed, living and working conditions for palace women began to deteriorate.

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Due to slanderous literary propaganda written and spread by male officials and Confucian authors, higher-class female officials also saw their power begin to weaken throughout the Ming. This system was roughly the same during the Qing dynasty — , when there were also a class of Imperial women selected immediately as consorts or concubines, but the class of female court attendants were all available to be promoted to concubines and consorts by the emperor.

The early modern Danish court was organized according to the German court model, in turn inspired by the Imperial Austrian court model, from the 16th century onward. This hierarchy was roughly in place from the 16th century until the death of king Christian IX of Denmark in During the First Empire , the principal lady in waiting of the empress was the dame d'honneur , followed by between 20 and 36 dames du palais.

The early modern Princely courts in Germany were modeled after the imperial Austrian court model. After the end of the German Roman Holy Empire in and the establishment of several minor kingdoms in Germany, the post of Staatsdame married ladies-in-waiting were introduced in many German princely and royal courts.

At the Imperial German court, the ladies-in-waiting were composed of one Oberhofmeisterin in charge of several Hofstaatsdamen or Palastdamen. The only specifically female dignity was that of the Zoste patrikia , the chief lady-in-waiting and female attendant of the empress, who was the head of the women's court and often a relative of the empress; this title existed at least since the 9th-century.

The Kingdom of Greece was established in and its first queen Amalia of Oldenburg organized the ladies-in-waiting of its first royal court in one Grande-Maitresse, followed by the second rank dame d'honneur , and the third rank dame de palais. Prior to unification, the greatest of the Italian states was the Kingdom of Naples, later called Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. The ladies-in-waiting of the queen of the Two Sicilies were, in composed of one Dama di Onore or 'Lady of Honor', placed in rank as number two after the Cavaliere di Onore , and followed by three Dama di Compagnia or 'Lady Companions' number four in rank after the Cavalerizzo and a large number of Dame di Corte or 'Court Ladies'.

Italy was united in to the Kingdom of Italy in In Japan, the imperial court offices was normally reserved for members of the court aristocracy and the ladies-in-waiting or palace attendants were commonly educated members of the nobility. During the Heian period — women could hold court offices of substantial responsibility, managing the affairs of the emperor. During the Sengoku period — , the highest rank of a lady-in-waiting was "female assistant to the major counselor", who ran the affairs of the daily life of the imperial household. In contrast to China, women palace attendants managed the palace of the imperial harem rather than eunuchs , and could hold high court offices in the emperors personal household.

Gungnyeo literally "palace women" is a Korean term referring to women who wait upon the King and other royalty in traditional Korean society. It is short for gungjung yeogwan , which translates as "a lady officer of the royal court".

Katherine Howard, Henry Tudor, Ladies in Waiting

Gungnyeo includes sanggung palace matron [43] and nain assistant court ladies , both of which hold rank as officers. The term is also used more broadly to encompass women in a lower class without a rank such as musuri lowest maids in charge of odd chores , gaksimi , sonnim , uinyeo female physicians as well as nain and sanggung. The court of the Duchy of Burgundy, which was situated in the Netherlands in the 15th-century, was famous for its elaborate ceremonial court life and became a role model for several other courts of Europe.

In the 16th-century, the ladies-in-waiting in the courts of the Habsburg governors of the Netherlands, Margaret of Austria and Mary of Hungary governor of the Netherlands , was composed of one hofmeesteres 'Court mistress' or dame d'honneur who served as the principal lady in waiting; one hofdame or Mere de filles , who was second in rank and deputy of the hofmeesteres as well as being in charge of the eredames maid of honour , also known as demoiselle d'honneur , fille d'honneur or Junckfrauen , and finally the chamber maids, kameniersters , all with different titles depending on language in the multilingual area of the Netherlands.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands was founded in , signifying the organisation of a royal court.

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In the 19th-century, the ladies-in-waiting of the Dutch court was headed by the Grootmeesteres 'Grand Mistress', equivalent to Mistress of the Robes , of second rank was the Dames du Palais married ladies-in-waiting , followed by the third rank Hofdames 'court ladies', equivalent to maid of honour. During the union of Denmark-Norway from until , the Danish royal court in Copenhagen was counted as the Norwegian royal court, and thus there was not royal court present in Norway during this period.

During the union between Norway and Sweden from to , there were Norwegian courtiers appointed who served during the Swedish royal family's visits to Norway. In the court of Muscovite Russia , the offices of lady-in-waiting to the Tsarina were normally divided among the boyarinas widows or wives of boyars , often from the family and relatives of the Tsarina. The group of ladies-in-waiting were collectively above the rank of the Svetlichnaya , the tsarina's sewing women; the postelnitsy the tsarina's chamber women and washing women and the officials who handled the affairs of the staff.

In , this system was abolished and the Russian Imperial court was reorganized in accordance with the reforms of Peter the Great to Westernize Russia, and the old court offices of the Tsarina was replaced with court offices inspired by the German model; see Lady-in-waiting of the Imperial Court of Russia.


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The royal court of Castile included a group of ladies-in-waiting for the queen named camarera in late 13th-century and early 14th-century, but it was not until the 15th-century that a set organisation of the ladies-in-waiting is confirmed. The early modern Swedish court, as well as the Danish equivalent, were re-organized in the early 16th century according to the German court model, in turn inspired by the Imperial Austrian court model.

They were headed by the normally married kammarfru Mistress of the Chamber, roughly equivalent to a Ladies Maid , often of burgher background, who supervised the group of kammarpiga Chamber Maid [5]. There are now only one statsfru , and the other ladies-in-waiting are simply referred to as hovdam 'Court Lady'.

Lady-in-waiting - Wikipedia

Queen Silvia of Sweden has only three hovdamer 'court ladies'. Her chief lady-in-waiting is the statsfru. A woman attending on a Queen Regnant or Queen Consort is often informally known by the same title, but is more formally styled either: Woman of the Bedchamber , Lady of the Bedchamber or Mistress of the Robes , depending on which of these offices she holds.

The Women are in regular attendance, but the Mistress of the Robes and the Ladies of the Bedchamber are normally required only for ceremonial occasions.

What did a lady-in-waiting actually do?

The phrase Lady-in-Waiting to The Queen has, however, been used in formal documents to denote which of the Women is actually "on duty" at any one time. In the Middle Ages, Margaret of France, Queen of England is noted to have had seven ladies-in-waiting: the three married ones were called Domina and the four unmarried maid of honour , but no principal lady-in-waiting is mentioned, [55] and until the 15th-century, the majority of the office holders of the queen's household were still male.

As late as in the mid 15th-century, queen Elizabeth Woodville had still only five ladies-in-waiting, [56] but in the late 15th-century and early 16th-century, ladies-in-waiting were given a more dominant place at the English court, in parallel with the development in France and the continental courts.


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  4. The court life of the Duchy of Burgundy served as an example when Edward IV created the Black Book of the Household in , [2] and the organisation of the English royal household was essentially set from that point onward. Queen Elizabeth of York had numerous ladies-in-waiting, which was reported by the Spanish ambassador Rodrigo de Puebla as something unusual and astonishing: "the Queen has thirty-two ladies, very magnificent and in splendid style".

    The duties of ladies-in-waiting at the Tudor court were to act as companions in public and in private; to accompany her wherever she went; to entertain her with music, dance or singing; and to dress her, bathe her and help her use the lavatory, as a royal person, by the standards of the day, was not supposed to do anything by themselves, but was always to be waited upon in all daily tasks as a sign of their status. The organization of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting was set in the period of the Tudor court. The ladies-in-waiting were headed by the Mistress of the Robes , followed in rank by the First Lady of the Bedchamber , who supervised the group of Lady of the Bedchamber typically wives or widows of peers above the rank of earl , in turn followed by the group of Woman of the Bedchamber usually a daughter of a peer and finally the group of Maid of honour , whose service entitled them to the style of The Honourable for life.

    However, in practice, many offices have since then been left vacant. For example, in recent times, Maids of Honour have only been appointed for coronations. These are a list of particularly well known and famous ladies-in-waiting of each nation listed. More can be found in their respective category.


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