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Woman of the Bedchamber

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Woman of the Bedchamber

In the Royal Household of the United Kingdom the term Woman of the Bedchamber is used to describe a woman (usually a daughter of a peer) attending either a queen regnant or queen consort, in the role of Lady-in-Waiting. Queens Regnant or Consort also have Ladies of the Bedchamber (typically wives or widows of peers above the rank of earl), and the senior Lady-in-Waiting is the Mistress of the Robes. In everyday usage, these female attendants of the Queen are termed Ladies-in-Waiting. The Women of the Bedchamber are usually in regular attendance, but the Mistress of the Robes and the Ladies of the Bedchamber are normally only required for ceremonial occasions. More junior female members of the Royal Family also have friends to assist them on public engagements, who are known only as 'Ladies-in-Waiting'.

The current Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth II is Susan Hussey, Baroness Hussey of North Bradley. Lady Susan is also godmother to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

One of her predecessors was Dame Margaret Katherine Hay DCVO (née Seymour, 1918–1975), Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth II, who was a granddaughter of 1st Duke of Westminster and the wife of Sir Philip Hay KCVO (1918–1986), Private Secretary to HRH The Duchess of Kent. They are buried in the Old Churchyard at St Mary's Church, Eccleston.

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