Royal Insider Reveals What It's Really Like To Be In Queen Elizabeth's Inner Circle

Queen Elizabeth II has held the British throne for 70 years, making her the longest-reigning monarch in the United Kingdom's history. Through the years, she has seen her inner circle change many times, although there are some people who have been with her from the start. 

Anne Fortune Fitzroy, the mistress of the robes and a close confidante who had been tending to the queen throughout her time on the throne, passed away on Dec. 3, 2021, at 101 years old (via the Daily Mail), making the queen's inner circle even smaller.

Thankfully, as the queen has struggled with her health this fall — spending a night in the hospital for tests, being ordered to rest, and being forced to miss the COP26 global climate summit (via CBS News) — members of that inner circle have been seeing to her needs and offering emotional support.

If you ever wondered what it's like being a member of Queen Elizabeth's inner circle, keep reading to find out what a royal insider has to say about the exclusive group.

Queen Elizabeth can be a different person around her inner circle

When Queen Elizabeth is in public, she gives off an aura of austerity, often seeming distant while performing the official duties she's been saddled with since she took the throne at 25 years old. However, when she's around her inner circle, she's much different.

"The Queen can go from being magisterial to chatty with those she trusts," a royal expert told People for its winter special issue, "Royals." "She has good judgment once she trusts people — and once she does it is very easy."

In fact, the queen seems to enjoy socializing, and People reports that, over the summer — just mere months after her husband of more than 70 years, Prince Philip, died — she began inviting members of her inner circle to Windsor Castle to watch TV with her. 

Those individuals include Lady Susan Hussey, her lady-in-waiting for more than 60 years, as well as friends Lady Annabel Whitehead and Lady Elizabeth Leeming. She also receives visits from her youngest son, Prince Edward, and his wife, Sophie.

"Those who are in [her inner circle] cherish their place," a royal insider told People. "They are a support for the queen and someone that they can have a laugh with and she can talk about the issues of the day."