Does the Queen have a ladies maid?

Yes, the Queen of England does have ladies maids who assist her with various personal care duties and managing her wardrobe. The ladies maids are part of the Queen’s household staff and have an important role in supporting Her Majesty in her daily life.

What does a ladies maid do?

A ladies maid has a variety of responsibilities in service of the Queen. Some of her key duties include:

  • Helping the Queen bathe and dress in the morning and prepare for public engagements and events
  • Laying out the Queen’s clothes and accessories and assisting her in dressing
  • Caring for the Queen’s wardrobe including laundering, ironing, repairing and storing clothes and shoes
  • Packing and unpacking for the Queen when traveling
  • Styling the Queen’s hair when needed
  • Keeping the Queen’s jewelry and accessories organized and in good condition
  • Helping the Queen change outfits throughout the day
  • Keeping detailed records of the clothes the Queen wears for events
  • Ordering fabrics, designing outfits or altering existing garments as needed
  • Liaising with dressmakers, milliners, glovemakers, shoemakers and other wardrobe specialists
  • Coordinating regular wardrobe cleanings and seasonal changes

In essence, the ladies maid takes care of all the Queen’s needs related to her personal presentation, hygiene and wardrobe. She is a close personal attendant who can be relied on for highly discreet service.

How many ladies maids does the Queen have?

Currently Queen Elizabeth II has three ladies maids who divide duties between them and alternate attendance on the Queen. They oversee Her Majesty’s wardrobe across all her royal residences and accompany her on long-distance trips and tours abroad.

Having more than one allows the ladies maids to work in shifts so that one is always available. It also brings different expertise, such as languages, which can be useful when traveling. Additionally, dividing duties reduces the workload on each individual maid.

Who are the Queen’s current ladies maids?

The Queen’s current ladies maids are:

  • Miss Angela Kelly – The Queen’s senior ladies maid, Angela has worked for Her Majesty since 1994. She is in charge of designing and creating the Queen’s outfits as well as coordinating the work of the other maids.
  • Miss Stella McLaren – Stella has been a maid with the Royal Household since 2006. She often travels with the Queen on official trips overseas.
  • Miss Alice Macar – Alice joined the ladies maids team in 2020 after moving over from being a housemaid at Buckingham Palace. She is the most junior maid of the three.

Both Angela Kelly and Stella McLaren have been recognized formally by the Queen for their service. All the ladies maids live onsite at whichever royal residence the Queen is staying at so they are always close at hand.

What is the history of ladies maids?

British royalty and aristocracy have employed ladies maids since the Middle Ages. Their role was to provide highly personal and intimate services helping noblewomen bathe, dress, style their hair and apply cosmetics.

By the Victorian Era having one or more ladies maids became a status symbol among upper class households. The maids required extensive training in fashion, haircare and interpersonal skills. Discretion was vital as they helped ladies dress and undress.

As fashions became more complex in the 1800s the ladies maid’s duties grew to include repairing, washing and caring for elaborate gowns, shoes, gloves and accessories. She also fixed her lady’s hair in ornate styles, sometimes acting as an amateur hairdresser and beautician.

The tradition of royal ladies maids continues today primarily to help manage the Queen’s very large and prestigious wardrobe during an incredibly busy schedule of public duties and ceremonies.

Who was the Queen’s first ladies maid?

Queen Elizabeth II’s first ever ladies maid was Margaret “Bobo” MacDonald, who was appointed in 1944 when the Princess Elizabeth was 18 years old. Bobo assisted the future Queen for almost 60 years until her death in 1993.

Bobo came from a Scottish family working in service for the Royal Household. She became Elizabeth’s maid and unofficial confidante at Buckingham Palace during World War II. She then later moved with Elizabeth to Clarence House and accompanied her on royal tours when she became Queen.

Bobo helped style the Queen’s hair for her wedding and coronation. She continued working as the Queen’s senior maid until her retirement in 1987. The Queen then specifically appointed Bobo as an Extra Woman of the Bedchamber for life so she could continue living at Windsor Castle close to Her Majesty.

The Queen trusted Bobo implicitly and she kept the secrets of the royal family her entire life. She passed away in 1993 at the age of 89 after decades as the Queen’s devoted right-hand woman.

Who currently designs and makes the Queen’s dresses?

The Queen’s senior ladies maid Angela Kelly is in charge of designing, creating and caring for all the Queen’s outfits and accessories today.

Ms. Kelly has a background in fashion and theatrical costume design. She sources fabrics, sketches designs, oversees in-house dressmakers, and meticulously catalogs each item in the Queen’s wardrobe archives.

The vast majority of the Queen’s clothes are specially designed and handmade for Her Majesty by Miss Kelly and the in-house team of dressmakers and tailors working at Buckingham Palace.

For particularly important dresses like those worn at royal weddings, Miss Kelly will collaborate with renowned British couture designers like Stewart Parvin and Ian Thomas. However, she always oversees every element to ensure each garment meets the Queen’s standards and is perfectly fitted.

Queen Elizabeth II greatly values craftsmanship and practicality in her clothes for public duties. Thanks to Angela Kelly’s expertise and deep knowledge of Her Majesty’s style preferences, each outfit is exquisitely tailored both for the occasion and the Queen’s comfort.

What training and qualifications are required to be a ladies maid?

There are no formal qualifications required to become a ladies maid today. However, extensive on-the-job training and certain innately honed skills are essential.

Key skills and attributes a ladies maid needs include:

  • Discretion – vital for maintaining privacy around intimate duties for employer
  • Reliability and loyalty – trusted by employer with private affairs
  • Professionalism – high standards of behavior and ethics
  • Physical stamina – able to work long hours escorting employer at events
  • Attention to detail – notices intricacies of fit, appearance and cares for fine fabrics
  • Organization and record keeping – manages extensive wardrobe cataloging
  • Communication – liaises with designers, dressmakers and household staff
  • Problem solving – oversees outfit repairs, cleaning, etc.
  • Resourcefulness – sources fabrics, dressmakers and materials needed
  • Stamina – long hours escorting employer at events

Additionally, ladies maids today pursue apprenticeships or in-service training to develop expertise in:

  • Fashion design and dressmaking
  • Hair styling
  • Cosmetics
  • Accessories design
  • Fabrics and clothing care
  • Wardrobe organization and archiving
  • Garment repair and alteration

With these skills and a deeply professional attitude, ladies maids are perfectly equipped to assist their employers.

What is the salary and lifestyle of a royal ladies maid?

The salaries of the Queen’s ladies maids are not publicly reported. However, given the extensive duties, training required and close bond with the monarch, compensation is likely generous.

Benefits certainly include living onsite at places like Buckingham Palace as well as traveling to luxurious locations with the Queen. There is immense job security working directly for the royal family.

However, the lifestyle also requires extensive hours on one’s feet assisting the Queen. Weekends and holidays are unlikely free time as maids must be available whenever needed. But for staff who take pride in royal service, these sacrifices are worthwhile.

Why does the Queen still employ ladies maids?

The Queen maintains the tradition of using ladies maids for several reasons:

  • Her extremely busy schedule demands assistance dressing, especially when changing outfits multiple times per day.
  • Her personal rapport and preference for particular trusted, long-serving maids like Angela Kelly.
  • The vast scale of her wardrobe including archive records and accessories requires staff to manage.
  • To ensure absolute discretion given the maids’ intimate access assisting Her Majesty.
  • Having round the clock attendance available for the Queen’s comfort and needs.
  • Seamless coordination between the Queen’s clothing, jewelry, accessories, hair and makeup for public events.
  • Support changing the Queen’s outfits and gowns throughout multi-day international tours.
  • Assistance packing and unpacking the large quantity of royal baggage when traveling.

While less common in modern times, the ladies maid remains a fixture of the British monarchy to facilitate the elegant public presentation and smooth domestic routine of Her Majesty.

Does Kate Middleton have a ladies maid?

Yes, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge and wife of Prince William also employs one or more ladies maids to help manage her extensive royal wardrobe and prepare her for public engagements.

Kate’s primary maid is Natasha Archer, who has worked with her since she married Prince William in 2011. Natasha helps style Kate’s hair, apply her makeup, dress her and keep her clothes organized across multiple royal residences.

For important events like royal tours, Kate brings along a second junior maid named Sophie Agnew who assists Natasha. They travel with the Duchess and care for her outfits abroad. Sophie’s grandmother was also a dresser for the Queen Mother for many years.

The Duchess is known for her elegant fashion choices and Natasha plays a vital role coordinating the outfits, accessories and styling to complement Kate on her public duties.

Do American celebrities have ladies maids?

Yes, some very wealthy American celebrities and socialites contemporary have private ladies maids or dressers to help style and dress them. However, the role is interpreted somewhat differently across the Atlantic.

In America, celebrity assistants with ladies maid duties usually act as glam squads doing hair, makeup, wardrobe styling and dresser responsibilities for high profile clients. The job is less about physically helping employers dress and more about fashion sourcing and styling.

Celebrity ladies maids in the U.S. still require discretion and close coordination with designers and stylists. But intimate access assisting with bathing and dressing is seen as less acceptable compared to the traditions of British lady’s maids.

American celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Paris Hilton and Beyonce all have full-time paid assistants who could be described as contemporary ladies maids.


The Queen’s ladies maids are a vital personal support team dedicated to Her Majesty’s comfort, care and flawless public presentation. These discretionary, professionally trained women uphold centuries of tradition assisting the monarch. While less common today, the ladies maid remains an integral fixture in the royal household.

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