Neha Patil

Lady of the Bedchamber

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Lady of the Bedchamber

The Lady of the Bedchamber is the title of a lady-in-waiting holding the official position of personal attendant on a British queen or princess. The position is traditionally held by a female member of a noble family. They are ranked between the First Lady of the Bedchamber and the Women of the Bedchamber. They are also styled Gentlewoman of Her Majesty's Bedchamber.

Contents

The equivalent title and office has historically been used in most European royal courts (Dutch: Dames du Palais; French: dames or Dame de Palais; German: Hofstaatsdame or Palastdame; Italian: Dame di Corte; Russian: Hofdame or Statsdame; Spanish: dueña de honor; Swedish: statsfru).

History

In the Middle Ages, Margaret of France, Queen of England is noted to have had seven ladies of the bedchamber: the three married ones were called Domina and the four unmarried ones were known as maids of honour. Their task was simply to act as the companions (see lady's companion) and personal attendants to the royal woman.

In a description from 1728, the task of the Ladies of the Bedchamber was to act as the go-between for the queen and the Women of the Bedchamber, who had the task to wait upon the queen by helping her wash, dress and undress, and so forth. A Woman of the Bedchamber worked independently from a Lady of the Bedchamber and did not take orders from her. However, if a Lady of the Bedchamber was present, a Woman of the Bedchamber would always defer to her. If a Lady of the Bedchamber was present when a Woman of the Bedchamber arrived to dress the queen, for example, she would not dress the queen herself, but instead give the garments to the Lady of the Bedchamber, who in turn helped the queen put it on. The procedure was the same in other issues.

The post of a Lady of the Bedchamber was considered prestigious, and the appointments have therefore been subjected to controversies. Queen Anne appointed Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough to this position; the Duchess was widely considered an influential royal favourite. In 1839, concerns that Queen Victoria was determined to surround herself with wives of Whig politicians led to the Bedchamber crisis, preventing the installation of a Tory government under Robert Peel.

List of Ladies of the Bedchamber to the Queens of England

This is an incomplete list of those who have served as Lady of the Bedchamber in the British Royal Household.

Ladies of the Bedchamber to Elizabeth I, 1558–1603

  • 1558–1565: Katherine Ashley (née Champernowne), Lady Ashley
  • 1559–1569: Catherine Carey, Lady Knollys
  • 1568–1599: Elizabeth Stafford
  • Ladies of the Bedchamber to Henrietta Maria of France, 1625–1649

  • c. 1625: Elizabeth Conquest (née Thimbelby), daughter of Sir Richard Thimelby of Irnham, married Sir Richard Conquest of Houghton Conquest
  • 1626: Lucy Hay, Countess of Carlisle
  • Susan Feilding, Countess of Denbigh
  • Ladies of the Bedchamber to Catherine of Braganza, 1662–1688

  • 1663–1667: Katherine Stanhope, Countess of Chesterfield
  • 1663–1673: Barbara Palmer, Countess of Castlemaine
  • 1663–1681: Barbara Howard, Countess of Suffolk
  • 1663–1688: Mary Villiers, Duchess of Buckingham
  • 1663–1688: Jane Granville, Countess of Bath
  • Ladies of the Bedchamber to Mary II of England, 1689–1694

  • Mary Sackville, Countess of Dorset (1669–1691)
  • Ladies of the Bedchamber to Anne, 1704–1714

  • 1702: Duchess of Ormond
  • 1702: Marchioness of Hartington
  • 1702: Countess of Burlington
  • 1702: Countess of Scarbrough
  • 1702: Lady Spencer
  • 1702: Duchess of Somerset
  • 1702: Lady Hyde
  • 1702: Lady Frescheville
  • 1702: Lady H. Godolphin
  • 1702: Countess of Abingdon
  • 1702: Lady C. Boeverwart
  • 1704–1714: Abigail Masham, Baroness Masham
  • 1704–1712: Anne Spencer, Countess of Sunderland
  • 1704–1714: Anne Venables-Bertie, Countess of Abingdon
  • 1712: Lady K. Hyde
  • 1712: Countess of Abingdon
  • Ladies of the Bedchamber to Caroline of Ansbach, 1714–1737

  • 1714–1717: Louisa Berkeley, Countess of Berkeley
  • 1714–1717 & 1726: Diana Beauclerk, Duchess of St Albans
  • 1714–1717: Henrietta Paulet, Duchess of Bolton
  • 1714–1717: Mary Montagu, Duchess of Montagu
  • 1714–1724: Mary Cowper, Countess Cowper
  • 1714–1726: Adelaide Talbot, Duchess of Shrewsbury
  • 1714–1737: Elizabeth Sackville, Duchess of Dorset
  • 1717-1717: Elizabeth Montagu, Viscountess Hinchingbrooke
  • 1718–1721: Barbara Herbert, Countess of Pembroke
  • 1718–1724: Henrietta d'Auverquerque, Countess of Grantham
  • 1718–1737: Elizabeth Hervey, Countess of Bristol
  • 1718–1720: Anne Scott, Countess of Deloraine
  • 1722-1722: Jane Capell, Countess of Essex
  • 1724–1737: Frances Seymour, Countess of Hertford
  • 1724–1737: Sarah Lennox, Duchess of Richmond
  • 1725–1737: Anne van Keppel, Countess of Albemarle
  • 1725–1737: Henrietta Fermor, Countess of Pomfret
  • 1725–1737: Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke (extra)
  • 1727–1737: Henrietta Louisa Fermor
  • ?–1737: Dorothy Boyle, Countess of Cork (extra)
  • Ladies of the Bedchamber to Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, 1736–1772

  • 1736-1736: Annie Howard, Countess of Effingham
  • 1736–1764: Anne Ingram, Viscountess Irvine
  • 1736–1739 & 1742–1759: Charlotte Byng, Viscountess Torrington
  • 1737–1772: Lady Charlotte Edwyn
  • 1743–1772: Frances Lumley-Saunderson, Countess of Scarbrough
  • 1743–1772: Maria Howe, Viscountess Howe
  • 1745–1772: Elizabeth Berkeley, Countess Berkeley
  • 1745-1758: Charlotte Howe, Viscountess Howe
  • Ladies of the Bedchamber to Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, 1761–1818

  • 1761–1768: Diana St John, Viscountess Bolingbroke
  • 1761–1770: Elizabeth Percy, Countess of Northumberland (Duchess of Northumberland from 1766)
  • 1761–1784: Elizabeth Campbell, Duchess of Hamilton (Duchess of Argyll from 1770)
  • 1761–1791: Elizabeth Howard, Countess of Effingham
  • 1761–1793: Elizabeth Thynne, Viscountess Weymouth (Marchioness of Bath from 1789)
  • 1761–1794: Alicia Wyndham, Countess of Egremont
  • 1768–1782: Isabella Seymour, Countess of Hertford
  • 1770–1801: Mary Darcy, Countess of Holderness
  • 1783–1818: Elizabeth Herbert, Countess of Pembroke and Montgomery
  • 1784–1818: Elizabeth Harcourt, Countess Harcourt
  • 1791–1818: Elizabeth Townshend, Viscountess Sydney
  • 1793–1807: Elizabeth Brudenell, Countess of Cardigan
  • 1794–1818: Jane Stanhope, Countess of Harrington
  • 1801–1818: Mary Parker, Countess of Macclesfield
  • 1807–1813: Henrietta Stanhope, Countess of Chesterfield
  • 1813–1818: Anne Dundas, Viscountess Melville
  • Ladies of the Bedchamber to Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, 1830–1837

  • 1830–1837: Emily Nugent, Marchioness of Westmeath
  • 1830–1837: Arabella Bourke, Countess of Mayo
  • 1830–1849: Marianne Wellesley, Countess of Mornington
  • 1830–1834: Anna Loftus, Marchioness of Ely (extra 1834-1837)
  • 1830–1837: Emma Brownlow, Countess Brownlow
  • 1830–1837: Lady Harriet Clinton
  • 1833–1836: Harriet Howe, Countess Howe
  • 1836–1837: Harriet Baker-Holroyd, Countess of Sheffield
  • Ladies of the Bedchamber to Victoria, 1837–1901

  • 1837–1838: Louisa Petty-FitzMaurice, Marchioness of Lansdowne
  • 1837–1838: Louisa Lambton, Countess of Durham
  • 1837–1841: Maria Phipps, Marchioness of Normanby
  • 1837–1841: Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford
  • 1837–1842: Sarah Lyttelton, Baroness Lyttelton, then Governess (Lady Superintendent) of the Royal Children 1842–1850.
  • 1837–1842: Frances Noel, Countess of Gainsborough
  • 1837–1851: Emma Portman, Baroness Portman
  • 1837–1854: Anne Caulfield, Countess of Charlemont
  • 1838–1840: Blanche Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire
  • 1839-1839: Elizabeth Campbell, Marchioness of Breadalbane
  • 1839–1842: Mary Montagu, Countess of Sandwich
  • 1840–1854 & 1863–1865: Carolina Edgcumbe, Countess of Mount Edgcumbe
  • 1841–1845: Catherine Murray, Countess of Dunmore
  • 1841–1867: Frances Jocelyn, Viscountess Jocelyn (extra 1867-1880)
  • 1842-1842: Susan Broun-Ramsay, Countess of Dalhousie
  • 1842–1843: Charlotte Fitzalan-Howard, Duchess of Norfolk
  • 1842–1855: Charlotte Canning, Countess Canning
  • 1843–1858: Elizabeth Wellesley, Duchess of Wellington
  • 1845–1864: Elizabeth Cuffe, Countess of Desart
  • 1851–1889: Jane Loftus, Marchioness of Ely
  • 1854–1897: Anne Murray, Duchess of Atholl
  • 1854–1900: Jane Spencer, Baroness Churchill
  • 1855–1863: Maria Bosville-Macdonald, Baroness Macdonald
  • 1858–1878: Jane Alexander, Countess of Caledon
  • 1864–1890: Elizabeth Cavendish, Baroness Waterpark
  • 1865–1895: Susanna Innes-Ker, Duchess of Roxburghe
  • 1867–1872: Eliza Agar-Ellis, Viscountess Clifden
  • 1872–1874: Blanche Bourke, Countess of Mayo
  • 1873–1901: Eliza Hay, Countess of Erroll
  • 1874–1885: Julia Abercromby, Baroness Abercromby
  • 1878–1901: Ismania FitzRoy, Baroness Southampton
  • 1885–1901: Emily Russell, Baroness Ampthill
  • 1889–1901: Cecilia Dawnay, Viscountess Downe
  • 1890–1901: Louisa McDonnell, Countess of Antrim
  • 1895–1901: Edith Bulwer-Lytton, Countess of Lytton
  • 1897–1901: Anne Innes-Ker, Duchess of Roxburghe
  • Ladies of the Bedchamber to Alexandra of Denmark, 1901–1925

  • 1900–1910: Alice Stanley, Countess of Derby
  • 1901–1910: Louisa McDonnell, Countess of Antrim
  • 1901–1925: Louisa Acheson, Countess of Gosford
  • 1901–1905: Edith Bulwer-Lytton, Countess of Lytton
  • 1901–1911: Cecilia Harbord, Baroness Suffield
  • 1901–1907: Alice Douglas, Countess of Morton (Extra Lady of the Bedchamber 1901-?)
  • 1901–1912: Mary Parker, Countess of Macclesfield (Extra Lady of the Bedchamber 1901-?)
  • 1901–1905: Maud Petty-FitzMaurice, Marchioness of Lansdowne (extra)
  • 1905–1910: Maud Petty-FitzMaurice, Marchioness of Lansdowne
  • 1905–1910: Constance Ashley-Cooper, Countess of Shaftesbury (extra)
  • 1907–1910: Cecily Gascoyne-Cecil, Marchioness of Salisbury
  • 1910–1914: Winifred Hardinge, Baroness Hardinge of Penshurst (extra)
  • 1910–1925: Maud Petty-FitzMaurice, Marchioness of Lansdowne (extra)
  • 1910– 1925: Cecily Gascoyne-Cecil, Marchioness of Salisbury (extra)
  • 1910–1925: Alice Stanley, Countess of Derby (extra)
  • 1911–1925: Cecilia Carington, Marchioness of Lincolnshire (Countess Carrington 1911-1912)
  • Ladies of the Bedchamber to Mary of Teck, 1901–1953

  • 1901–1902: Ida Bridgeman, Countess of Bradford
  • 1901–1910: Mabell Ogilvy, Countess of Airlie
  • 1902–1910: Mary Cochrane-Baillie, Baroness Lamington
  • 1905–1906: Constance Ashley-Cooper, Countess of Shaftesbury (extra)
  • 1905–1936: Ida Bridgeman, Countess of Bradford (extra)
  • 1906–1913: Constance Ashley-Cooper, Countess of Shaftesbury
  • 1910–1916: Mabell Ogilvy, Countess of Airlie (extra)
  • 1910–1917: Mary Cochrane-Baillie, Baroness Lamington(extra)
  • 1911–1916: Ethel Grenfell, Baroness Desborough
  • 1911–1936: Mary Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, Countess of Minto
  • 1911–1953: Margaret Russell, Baroness Ampthill
  • 1913–1924: Emily Fortescue, Countess Fortescue
  • 1913–1953: Constance Ashley-Cooper, Countess of Shaftesburye (extra)
  • 1916–1924: Ethel Grenfell, Baroness Desborough (extra)
  • 1916–1953: Mabell Ogilvy, Countess of Airlie
  • 1924–1929: Emily Fortescue, Countess Fortescue (extra)
  • 1924–1936: Ethel Grenfell, Baroness Desborough
  • 1936–1940: Mary Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, Countess of Minto (extra)
  • 1936–1952: Ethel Grenfell, Baroness Desborough (extra)
  • Ladies of the Bedchamber to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, 1937–2002

  • 1937–1947: Mary Wilson, Baroness Nunburnholme
  • 1937–1972: Cynthia Spencer, Countess Spencer
  • 1937–1941: Dorothy Wood, Viscountess Halifax
  • 1937–1994: Patricia Smith, Viscountess Hambleden
  • 1941–1945: Beatrice Ormsby-Gore, Baroness Harlech
  • 1945–1967: Beatrice Ormsby-Gore, Baroness Harlech
  • 1947–1979: Katharine Lumley, Countess of Scarbrough
  • 1973–2002: Elizabeth Beckett, Baroness Grimthorpe
  • 1994–2002: Elizabeth Lumley, Countess of Scarbrough
  • Ladies of the Bedchamber to Elizabeth II, 1953–present

  • 1953–1966: Fortune FitzRoy, Countess of Euston (now the Dowager Duchess of Grafton)
  • 1953–1973: Elizabeth Coke, née Yorke, Countess of Leicester, wife of Thomas Coke, 5th Earl of Leicester
  • 1960–1966: Patricia Nevill, Marchioness of Abergavenny (extra)
  • 1966–1987: Patricia Nevill, Marchioness of Abergavenny
  • 1967–1971: Esmé Baring, née Harmsworth, Countess of Cromer (temporary) wife of Rowland Baring
  • 1967: Sonia Fairfax, Lady Fairfax of Cameron (temporary) (widow of Thomas Fairfax, 13th Lord Fairfax of Cameron)
  • 1971–1993: Esmé Baring, née Harmsworth, Countess of Cromer (extra)
  • 1973–present: Virginia Ogilvy, Countess of Airlie
  • 1987–2005: Patricia Nevill, Marchioness of Abergavenny (extra)
  • 1987–present: Diana Marion, Baroness Farnham
  • 1987–present: Richenda Elton, née Gurney, Baroness Elton (wife of Baron Elton)
  • References

    Lady of the Bedchamber Wikipedia


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