When Parliament opened on November 7, 2023, Camilla was accompanied by two of her six “companions”: the Marchioness of Lansdowne and Lady Sarah Keswick.
Almost a year ago, on November 27, 2022, Camilla chose six “buddies” from among her closest friends, modernizing the traditional act of “ladies-in-waiting.” Since then, these noblewomen, members of the great British aristocracy, have assisted the Queen’s private secretariat in some official and state duties.
For the ceremony at Westminster, two of them were required. The first was Fiona Petty-Fitzmaurice, second wife of Charles Petty-Fitzmaurice, 9th Marquess of Launceston. Close to Camila, she is the goddaughter of her daughter Laura Lopes. During the coronation, she stood by the Queen’s sister, Annabelle Elliott, as a “lady-in-waiting”. Born in 1954, she was the daughter of Donald Merritt and worked as an interior designer under the name Fiona Shelburne – before she became a Marquess in 1999, her husband being the Earl of Shelburne. The family lives on Bowood House Estate.
Great British aristocracy
In 2019 the Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire was elected “High Sheriff” for 2022-2023 as the Marchioness of Llanstow, an honorary office dating back to the Middle Ages. The second of the Queen’s “companions” on November 7 was Sarah Ramsay, 78, Lady Keswick. 16th Earl of Dalhousie, famous Scottish Unionist politician and head of Clan Ramsey, daughter of Cairn Margaret Stirling, whom she married in 1966, Sir John Chippendale Lindley Keswick – “Chips” – merchant banker, director of Jardine Matheson Holding Companies, and Arsenal Footballer from 2013 to 2020 President of the club. The couple has three sons, David, Tobias and Adam, and five grandchildren.
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