Camilla Could Bring One Of The Queen's Favorite Royal Traditions To An End

With the death of Queen Elizabeth II, her son — now King Charles III — ascended to the throne, and his wife, Camilla, became queen consort. Although there had always been speculation that Camilla would be known as princess consort when her husband became king, Queen Elizabeth made her wishes clear in a statement marking her Platinum Jubilee. "When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes king, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service," the queen wrote.

Now that the time has come, many have wondered what Camilla will be like as queen. Royal biographer Gyles Brandreth believes that, just like Prince Philip was Queen Elizabeth's "strength and stay," Camilla will fill that same role for Charles (via Daily Mail). In fact, during a luncheon to celebrate her 75th birthday, Camilla gave a toast where she invoked the philosophy of the late Duke of Edinburgh to "look up and look out, say less, do more — and get on with the job." 

One way Camilla might support King Charles during his reign is with his reported plans for a slimmed down monarchy. With that in mind, there are rumors that she might get rid of a long-standing tradition that Queen Elizabeth II loved.

Queen Camilla might not have any ladies-in-waiting

Even before he ascended to the throne, King Charles III reportedly had plans to slim down the monarchy to just a handful of working royals. That could lead to his wife, Queen Camilla, doing away with one of Queen Elizabeth II's favorite traditions: the ladies-in-waiting. 

Throughout Elizabeth's 70-year reign, she always had a group of ladies-in-waiting to help her with everything from collecting flowers at events and running errands to handling administrative tasks and assisting with the queen's wardrobe, per Hello! These women come from wealthy families and are unpaid for their duties. Before her passing, Queen Elizabeth had four ladies-in-waiting: Dame Mary Morrison, Lady Elizabeth Leeming, Susan Rhodes Dame Annabel Whitehead and Lady Susan Hussey. Two of her ladies-in-waiting – Fortune FitzRoy, the Duchess of Grafton, and Lady Farnham — passed away in December 2021.

But while Camilla and Catherine, Princess of Wales, were given the option to have their own ladies-in-waiting when they married into the royal family, neither of them accepted the offer. Now that Camilla is queen, sources say she most likely will continue without the tradition, especially since there are layoffs expected at Clarence House, Charles and Camilla's former residence, per The Guardian.

Queen Elizabeth's ladies-in-waiting mourned her passing with the royal family

Queen Elizabeth II's four remaining ladies-in-waiting — Dame Mary Morrison, Lady Elizabeth Leeming, Susan Rhodes Dame Annabel Whitehead and Lady Susan Hussey — were all present at her mourning services and funeral. In fact, they were with the royal family when the queen's coffin arrived at Westminster Hall to begin the monarch's lying in state, per Royal Central. Elizabeth's four confidantes stood along the wall of the church, behind Queen Camilla; Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales; Sophie, Countess of Wessex; and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex.

It is not surprising that they were invited to participate in the event. Many of the women had served Elizabeth for decades. Lady Susan Hussey, in particular, was especially close to the queen. Not only was the godmother of William, Prince of Wales, but she was also the only person permitted to accompany the queen to the funeral of Prince Philip due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Now that Queen Elizabeth has passed away, the ladies-in-waiting are no longer needed. But as Hello! magazine pointed out, it is unknown at this time whether they will all retire or take on another job within the monarchy.