file photo dated 23/01/2011 of Queen Elizabeth II (left), and her then lady in waiting, Lady Susan Hussey arriving at St Mary Magdalene Church, on the royal estate at Sandringham in Norfolk. Lady Susan Hussey, a member of the Buckingham Palace household has resigned and apologised after she made "unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments" by asking Ngozi Fulani, a prominent black advocate for survivors of domestic abuse where she "really came from". Issue date: Wednesday November 30, 2022.

Who is Lady Susan Hussey and what is a lady-in-waiting?

Lady Susan Hussey has given up her role at Buckingham Palace after asking a black visitor where she was “really from” during a Queen Consort reception.

Ngozi Fulani, CEO of Sistah Space and prominent advocate for domestic violence survivors, described the exchange as a “violation”.

Lady Hussey served as Queen Elizabeth’s Lady in Waiting for more than 60 years and was appointed after the birth of Prince Andrew in 1960.

The 83-year-old was reportedly originally employed to handle the Queen’s correspondence but soon became a key confidante within the royal household.

In her role, she assisted the monarch in his day-to-day activities, and while not much was reported of her presence, she was often seen in the background of important royal engagements.

she is also Prince Williams godmother and was the only person to accompany the Queen to Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021.

Due to COVID restrictions, only 30 mourners were allowed to attend the service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

Picture:
Lady Susan Hussey (right) with the Queen at Prince Philip’s funeral

The “number one Head Girl” of the royal household, as she was reportedly known, was also one of around 20 key employees who have been part of the Windsor Castle bubble during the pandemic.

Lady Hussey, daughter of Geoffrey Waldegrave, 12th Earl Waldegrave, and Mary Hermione, Countess Waldegrave, was married to BBC Chairman Marmaduke Lord Hussey, who died in 2006.

Recently portrayed in hit Netflix drama The Crown, Lord Hussey was known for being among those who spoke out against the broadcast of Princess Diana’s panoramic interview with Martin Bashir.

Lady Susan Hussey

Lady Hussey is also a sister of former Tory Cabinet Secretary William Waldegrave.

She has two children and her daughter Lady Katharine Brooke has followed in her footsteps by serving as attendant to the Queen Consort Camilla.

In 2013, Lady Hussey was made a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order by the Queen – the highest rank personally bestowed by the sovereign.

After the Queen’s death, she was given the role of housewife to help King Charles on formal occasions.

Lady Hussey is pictured top right with members of the royal family in 1997
Picture:
Lady Hussey is pictured top right with members of the royal family in 1997

What is a maid of honor?

A lady-in-waiting is a woman who looks after a female member of the royal family and is usually responsible for escorting them to public engagements and helping them complete duties.

The role is usually unpaid, and it has been reported that Lady Hussey received no salary during her time in the position, instead serving the Queen out of loyalty.

The Queen had at least five ladies-in-waiting during her reign, including Lady Hussey.

The ladies-in-waiting were considered unsung members of the late Queen’s household and were personally chosen by the monarch.

King Charles, then Prince of Wales, with Lady Susan Hussey, top center, in 1982
Picture:
(Left to right) Lord Romsey, Lady Susan Hussey and Sir Laurens van der Post at the christening of Prince William

Does the queen consort have ladies-in-waiting?

After the Queen’s death, King Charles’ wife, Camilla, became Queen Consort and in her role She decided to have six companions instead of ladies-in-waiting.

In this position, women have the task of supporting them in fulfilling their official and state duties.

Camilla’s companions have been announced as her friends:
• Sarah Troughton
• Jane von Westenholz, mother of the woman who introduced Prince Harry to Meghan Markle
• Fiona, the Marchioness of Lansdowne, an interior designer
• Lady Katharine Brooke
• Baroness Carlyn Chisholm, an unaffiliated peer
• Lady Sarah Keswick, whose husband, Sir Chips Keswick, retired as Arsenal chairman in 2020

It is believed that the women will have similar duties to the Queen’s ladies-in-waiting, who have now been given the role of ladies of the household to instead assist the king.

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