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Queen Camilla is shifting tradition.
The Queen Consort, 75, is modernizing her elevated royal rank by not having ladies-in-waiting as Queen Elizabeth did. Instead, she's welcoming six "Queen's Companions" into her inner circle.
The BBC reported the news on Sunday, explaining that the companion position will be more informal with reduced responsibilities compared to the lady-in-waiting posts. While ladies-in-waiting traditionally assisted with the Queen's correspondence and administration, the companions will simply support Camilla at official engagements.
"Replacing the role of lady-in-waiting will end a feature of court life going back to the middle ages, with such close personal helpers of a Queen often coming from aristocratic families and, over the centuries, sometimes caught up in court intrigue," the BBC said of the "slimmed-down" position.
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According to the outlet, the six women tapped for the job are the Marchioness of Lansdowne, Jane von Westenholz, Lady Katharine Brooke, Sarah Troughton, Lady Sarah Keswick and Baroness Chisholm. Some of Camilla's friendships with the women stretch back decades, as evidenced by a photo of Camilla with then-Prince Charles and Keswick in 1979.
Though the royal role is new, the women's support for Camilla is not. Keswick sat courtside with the former Duchess of Cornwall at Wimbledon in 2011, while Troughton joined her at a Community First event in 2015. Baroness Chisholm was similarly spotted with Charles and Camilla at the Royal Ascot in 2021.
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Hello! reported that some of the Queen's companions are expected to make their debut in their new duty by accompanying Camilla to a Violence Against Women and Girls reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.
The BBC added that while the Queen's companions will not be paid, their expenses will be covered.
Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth's former ladies-in-waiting will now be known as "ladies of the household" and help King Charles host events at Buckingham Palace.
The change comes almost three months into King Charles' reign, who immediately acceded his mother Queen Elizabeth as monarch following her death on Sept. 8. Queen Elizabeth leaned on her ladies-in-waiting from the very start — her coronation day in 1953.
Lady Pamela Hicks was a lady-in-waiting for the then-Princess Elizabeth on tour in Kenya when the news came that Elizabeth's father, King George VI, had died on Feb. 6, 1952 — making Elizabeth, age 25, the new Queen.
Queen Elizabeth and Lady Pamela
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"I remember going and hugging her. And then thinking, 'Oh my goodness, she's Queen' — and going into a deep curtsy," Hicks previously told PEOPLE Royals.