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Miscellaneous

Diana, Princess of Wales' Ladies-in-Waiting

Table of Contents:

Introduction
Diana, Princess of Wales' Ladies-in-Waiting
Sources


 
Introduction:

This document features the list of women who served as ladies-in-waiting to Diana, Princess of Wales. No less than eight women were appointed ladies-in-waiting to the Princess between 1981 and 1997.

A few weeks after the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales, Buckingham Palace announced on 25 September 1981 the names of the women who were appointed to Her Royal Highness' Household. They were Miss Anne Beckwith-Smith (as Lady-in-Waiting), and the Hon. Mrs. Vivian Baring and Mrs. George Alston-Roberts-West (as Extra Ladies-in-Waiting).1 The three women were chosen by the Princess "from a short-list most probably drawn up by [Buckingham] Palace".2 Anne worked full-time for the Princess, and started on 6 October 1981. Lavinia and Hazel were part-time ladies-in-waiting and started a few weeks later. They attended the Princess on her public engagements.3

Anne was the Princess of Wales' principal lady-in-waiting. When interviewed by the Press upon her appointment, she replied that she was "thrilled, delighted and terribly honoured to be chosen".4 Anne was also her Personal Secretary and helped "with Diana's correspondence, running errands, making appointments and generally taking care of those areas of her life which didn't fall into the domain of Oliver Everett, her private secretary".5 In late 1986, Anne became the Princess' Assistant Private Secretary, and continued with her duties as Lady-in-Waiting.6

In time, the Princess acquired five more ladies-in-waiting. Their appointments (as well as those of the first three ladies-in-waiting) were published in The London Gazette, and (usually) began with the phrase: "The Princess of Wales has been pleased to make the following appointments to Her Royal Highness' Household [...]".

The Princess of Wales's ladies-in-waiting did not receive salaries, but were reimbursed for their 'out of pocket and travelling' expenses. They also received a small clothing allowance. (The exception was Lady-in-Waiting Anne Beckwith-Smith, who received a salary for her work as personal secretary to the Princess.)7
 
Footnotes:

1. "Court Circular" of 25 September 1981, The Times, 26 September 1981.
2. Junor, Diana, p. 195.
3. "Prince and Princess to tour Wales", The Times, 26 September 1981.
4. Somerset, Ladies-in-Waiting, p. 310, quoting the Daily Mail, 26 September 1981.
5. Junor, Diana, p. 195.
6. The London Gazette, 5 December 1986.
7. "Question Time", Majesty (Vol. 8, No. 4) August 1987 and Majesty (Vol. 16, No. 6) June 1995.

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Diana, Princess of Wales' Ladies-in-Waiting:

N.B.: The ladies-in-waiting are listed in alphabetical order by surname.

Mrs. George Alston-Roberts-West (née Hazel Elizabeth Margaret Cook)
Born: 23 May 1944
Parents: Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Thomas Cook and Gweneth Margaret Jones
Spouse: Lieutenant-Colonel George Arthur West (great-grandson of the 1st Duke of Westminster)
Notes:
• Extra Lady-in-Waiting from 1981.*

* Buckingham Palace announced her appointment on 25 September 1981. It was published in The London Gazette of 6 October 1981.

The Honourable Mrs. Vivian Baring (née Lavinia Gweneth Baring)
Born: 1 August 1951
Parents: Sir Mark Baring and Victoria (Vita) Russell
Spouse: Honourable Vivian Baring (younger son of the 3rd Earl of Cromer)
Notes:
• Lavinia and Vivian are second cousins.
• Extra Lady-in-Waiting 1981-91, then Lady-in-Waiting 1991-92.*

* Buckingham Palace announced her (original) appointment on 25 September 1981. It was published in The London Gazette of 6 October 1981.

Miss Anne Honor Mary Beckwith-Smith
Born: 1951
Parents: Major Peter Beckwith-Smith and Annabel Newman (daughter of Sir Cecil Newman, 2nd Baronet)
Notes:
• Anne is unmarried.
• Lady-in-Waiting 1981-97.*
• Appointed L.V.O. (Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order) 1990.

* Buckingham Palace announced her appointment on 25 September 1981. It was published in The London Gazette of 6 October 1981.

Viscountess Campden (née Sarah Rose Winnington)
Born: 29 April 1951
Parents: younger daughter of Colonel Thomas Winnington (brother of Sir Francis Winnington, 6th Baronet) and Lady Betty Marjorie Anson (daughter of the 4th Earl of Lichfield)
Spouse: Anthony Baptist Noel, styled by courtesy Viscount Campden, son and heir of the 5th Earl of Gainsborough
Notes:
• Extra Lady-in-Waiting (from at least 1985), then Lady-in-Waiting from 1991-97.
• Appointed L.V.O. (Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order) 1996.

Mrs. James Lonsdale (née Laura Monica Greig)
Born: 16 December 1960
Parents: Sir Henry Louis Carron Greig and Monica Kathleen Stourton (sister of the 5th Earl of Gainsborough)
Spouse: James (Jamie) Leopold Lonsdale
Notes:
• Laura's eldest daughter, Leonora Diana Fiona Lonsdale (b. 14 June 1986) is a goddaughter of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
• Extra Lady-in-Waiting 1989-91, then Lady-in-Waiting 1991-97.*

* Her original appointment was published in The London Gazette of 26 May 1989, to date from 25 May 1989.

Miss Alexandra Mary Loyd (later Mrs. Duncan Byatt)
Born: 14 October 1961
Parents: Sir Julian St. John Loyd (grandson of the 9th Viscount Middleton) and Philippa Mary Emma Steel
Spouse: Duncan Byatt (younger son of Sir Hugh Byatt)
Notes:
• Sir Julian was land agent to HM The Queen at Sandringham from 1964 to 1991.
• Alexandra and Duncan married in February 1995.
• Extra Lady-in-Waiting from 1986-91, then Lady-in-Waiting from 1991-97.*

* Her original appointment was published in The London Gazette of 15 April 1986, to date from 7 April 1986.

Lady Sarah McCorquodale (née Honourable Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia Spencer)
Born: 19 March 1955
Parents: Edward John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer and the Honourable Frances Ruth Burke Roche (younger daughter of the 4th Baron Fermoy)
Spouse: Neil Edmund McCorquodale
Notes:
• Lady Sarah is Diana's eldest sister.
• Extra Lady-in-Waiting 1992-97.*

* Her appointment was published in The London Gazette of 13 March 1992.

Mrs. Max Pike (née Jean Mary Howard)
Born: 28 July 1947
Parents: Major-General Lord Michael Fitzalan Howard (brother of the 17th Duke of Norfolk) and Jean Marion Hamilton-Dalrymple
Spouse: Max Eben Lecky Pike
Notes:
• Extra Lady-in-Waiting 1986-91, then Lady-in-Waiting 1991-97.*

* Her original appointment was published in The London Gazette of 15 April 1986, to date from 7 April 1986.

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Sources:

Books:

Burke's Peerage and Baronetage. 106th edition, 1999.
Junor, Penny. Diana, Princess of Wales: A biography. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1982.
Somerset, Anne. Ladies-in-Waiting: From the Tudors to the Present Day. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984.

Periodicals and Newspapers:

Butler, Rupert. "Ladies-in-waiting". Majesty (Volume 5, Number 12) April 1985.
Hoey, Brian. "Question Time". Majesty (Vol. 8, No. 4) August 1987 and Majesty (Volume 16, Number 6) June 1995.
The London Gazette.
The Times (of London).

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This website was last updated on 6 January 2006. © 1998-2006 Yvonne Demoskoff