The Queen turned to her faithful waiting lady, Lady Susan Hussey, for assistance on the day of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
Lady Susan, who was married to the late BBC Chairman Marmaduke Hussey, is close to the Queen and has served her for decades.
Such is her connection to the royal family that Lady Susan, 81, is one of the godparents of the Duke of Cambridge and attended his confirmation in 1997.
Last year, she joined the Queen and Philip on the HMS Bubble as one of about 20 staff who looked after the royal couple locked up at Windsor Castle.
On Saturday, she accompanied the Queen at Bentley State as she left the castle to join the rear of the procession and carry Philip’s coffin to St. George’s Chapel.
Although Lady Susan entered the chapel, she was there as a working household member and not one of the 30 guests.
Lady Susan stayed close in case the Queen should need her, and sat not with the Windsors in the Quire or in the nave but elsewhere in the chapel.
The waiting ladies are the unsung members of the queen’s household and are personally chosen by the monarch.
They perform a variety of roles including handling private and personal affairs for the Queen and handling her correspondence.
They also assist the Queen with official obligations, from handing over her money to handing over the bouquets of flowers that have been presented to her.
In 2001, Lady Susan presented the Queen with a pound coin for her to buy The Big Issue from a magazine vendor on an official day trip to Brighton.
She was also present at unique moments in history – such as on the Spirit of Chartwell barge with the Queen and other members of the royal family for the Diamond Jubilee River pageant on the Thames in 2012.
Waiting women often serve the queen for more than 50 years, acting as both friends and loyal assistants. Your discretion and assistance will be invaluable as the queen mourns.
The late Marmaduke Hussey, who died in 2006, was the BBC chair when Diana, Princess of Wales gave her Panorama interview in 1995, but according to tradition, he was not given a preview.
“Duke” Hussey was a senior newspaper executive manager for decades and assumed the prestigious BBC post when he retired from News International.
Lady Susan is also a sister of former Tory Cabinet Secretary William Waldegrave.