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Mistress of the Robes

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Mistress of the Robes

The Mistress of the Robes is the senior lady in the royal household of the United Kingdom.

Contents

Tasks

Formerly (as the name implies) responsible for the queen's clothes and jewelry, the post now has the responsibility for arranging the rota of attendance of the ladies-in-waiting on the queen, along with various duties at state ceremonies.

In modern times, the Mistress of the Robes is almost always a duchess.

History

During the 17th and 18th centuries role often overlapped with or was retitled as First Lady of the Bedchamber.

In the past, whenever the queen was a queen regnant rather than a queen consort, the Mistress of the Robes was a political appointment, changing with the government. However, this has not been the case since the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, and Queen Elizabeth II has only had two Mistresses of the Robes in more than sixty years' reign. Queens dowager have their own Mistresses of the Robes, and in the 18th century Princesses of Wales had one too.

Mistress of the Robes to Mary I, 1553–1558

  • 1553–1558: Susan Clarencieux
  • Mistress of the Robes to Elizabeth I, 1558–1603

  • 1559/1562–1603: Dorothy, Lady Stafford
  • Mistress of the Robes to Anne of Denmark, 1603–1619

  • 1603–1619: Audrey (Etheldreda), Lady Walsingham
  • Mistresses of the Robes to Anne, 1704–1714

  • 1704–1710: Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough
  • 1710–1714: Elizabeth Seymour, Duchess of Somerset
  • Mistresses of the Robes to Caroline of Ansbach, 1714–1737

  • 1714–1717: Diana Beauclerk, Duchess of St Albans
  • 1717–1723: Vacant?
  • 1723–1731: Elizabeth Sackville, Duchess of Dorset
  • 1731–1735: Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk (Dowager Countess of Suffolk from 1733)
  • 1735–1737: Vacant
  • Mistresses of the Robes to Augusta of Saxe-Gotha 1736–1763

  • 1736–1745: Lady Archibald Hamilton
  • 1745–1747: Vacant
  • 1747–1763: Grace Sackville, Countess of Middlesex
  • Mistress of the Robes to Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, 1761–1818

  • 1761–1793: Mary Bertie, Duchess of Ancaster and Kesteven (Dowager Duchess of Ancaster and Kesteven from 1778)
  • 1793–1818: Elizabeth Thynne, Marchioness of Bath (Dowager Marchioness of Bath from 1796)
  • Mistress of the Robes to Caroline of Brunswick 1795–1820

  • 1795–1808: Anne Townshend, Marchioness Townshend
  • 1808-1817: Catherine Douglas, Baroness Glenbervie
  • Mistress of the Robes to Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, 1830–1837

  • 1830–1837: Catherine Osborne, Duchess of Leeds
  • Mistress of the Robes to Victoria, 1837–1901

  • 1837–1841: Harriet Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland
  • 1841–1846: Charlotte Montagu Douglas Scott, Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry
  • 1846–1852: Harriet Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland
  • 1852–1853: Anne Murray, Duchess of Atholl
  • 1853–1858: Harriet Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland
  • 1858–1859: Louisa Montagu, Duchess of Manchester
  • 1859–1861: Harriet Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland
  • 1861–1868: Elizabeth Wellesley, Duchess of Wellington
  • 1868–1870: Elizabeth Campbell, Duchess of Argyll
  • 1870–1874: Anne Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland
  • 1874–1880: Elizabeth Wellesley, Duchess of Wellington
  • 1880–1883: Elizabeth Russell, Duchess of Bedford
  • 1883–1885: Anne Innes-Ker, Duchess of Roxburghe
  • 1885–1886: Louisa Montagu Douglas Scott, Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry
  • 1886: Vacant
  • Acting Mistress of the Robes: Elizabeth Russell, Duchess of Bedford
  • 1886–1892: Louisa Montagu Douglas Scott, Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry
  • 1892–1895: Vacant
  • Acting Mistress of the Robes: Anne Innes-Ker, Duchess of Roxburghe, and Anne Murray, Dowager Duchess of Atholl (jointly)
  • 1894: Vacant
  • Acting Mistress of the Robes: Louisa McDonnell, Countess of Antrim
  • 1895–1901: Louisa Montagu Douglas Scott, Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry
  • Mistress of the Robes to Alexandra of Denmark, 1901–1925

  • 1901–1912: Louisa Montagu Douglas Scott, Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry
  • 1913–1925: Winifred Cavendish-Bentinck, Duchess of Portland
  • Mistress of the Robes to Mary of Teck, 1910–1953

  • 1910–1916: Evelyn Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire
  • 1916–1921: Eileen Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland
  • 1921–1953: Evelyn Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire (Dowager Duchess of Devonshire from 1938)
  • Mistress of the Robes to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, 1937–2002

  • 1937–1964: Helen Percy, Duchess of Northumberland (Dowager Duchess of Northumberland from 1946)
  • 1964–1990: Kathleen Hamilton, Duchess of Abercorn (Dowager Duchess of Abercorn from 1979)
  • 1990–2002: Vacant
  • Mistress of the Robes to Elizabeth II, 1953–present

  • 1953–1967: Mary Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire (Dowager Duchess of Devonshire from 1950)
  • 1967–present: Fortune FitzRoy, Duchess of Grafton (Dowager Duchess of Grafton from 2011)
  • References

    Mistress of the Robes Wikipedia


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