A lady-in-waiting (also called waiting maid) is a female personal assistant at a noble court, attending to a queen, a princess or other noblewoman. A lady-in-waiting is often a noblewoman of lower rank (i.e., a lesser noble) than the one she attends to, and is not considered a servant. Their duties varied from court to court. 



 Renaissance England

In Tudor England, ladies-in-waiting were divided into four separate systems: great ladies, ladies of the privy chamber, Maids of Honour and chamberers. The ladies of the privy chamber were the ones who were closest to the queen and thought to be the highest level of unpaid ladies-in-waiting. Most of the other women were considered Maids of Honour. The Maids of honour were the single, unmarried ladies-in-waiting. Female relatives were often appointed because they could be trusted confidantes to the queen; Lady Margaret Lee was a Lady of the Privy Chamber to Anne Boleyn, just as Lady Elizabeth Seymour-Cromwell was to Queen Jane Seymour. The duties of ladies-in-waiting at the Tudor court were to act as royal companions, and to accompany the Queen wherever she went. There were many jobs that required the ladies-in-waiting such as: being proficient in the "modern" dances, languages, instruments, reading, writing letters for the queen, sewing/embroidery, etc. Tudor queens often had a large degree of say in who became their ladies-in-waiting. Usually ladies-in-waiting came from families that were highly thought of in good society, noble families, or trustworthy friends of the family.


This attitude was very different from ladies-in-waiting to French queens under the later Bourbon dynasty. There, ladies-in-waiting often acted as glorified but distant companions to the Spanish and Polish wives of Louis XIV and Louis XV. Under France's last Bourbon queen, Marie-Antoinette, several of her favorite ladies-in-waiting — notably Yolande, Duchesse de Polignac — acquired huge influence and wealth for themselves. In later years, the ladies-in-waiting became discreet companions to the royal ladies of Europe, a practice which continues today[citation needed].

 The United Kingdom today

In the Royal Household of the United Kingdom the term Lady-in-Waiting is used to describe a woman attending a female member of the Royal Family other than the Queen Regnant or Queen Consort. An attendant upon one of the latter is styled Lady of the Bedchamber or Woman of the Bedchamber, and the senior Lady-in- Waiting is the Mistress of the Robes. The Women are in regular attendance, but the Mistress of the Robes and the Ladies of the Bedchamber are normally only required for ceremonial occasions. There were formerly three offices, including Maids of Honour.


In Cambodia, the term 'ladies-in-waiting' refers to high ranking female servants who served food and drink, fanned and massaged, and sometimes provided sexual services to the King. Conventionally, these women could work their way up from being maids to become ladies-in-waiting, concubines, or even to possibly succeed as queen. However, the six favorite court ladies of King Sisowath of Cambodia were probably initially drawn from the ranks of classical royal dancers of lower class. He was noted for having the most classical dancers as concubines. The imperial celestial dancer, Apsara, was one of these. This practice of drawing from the ranks of royal dancers began in the Golden Age of the Khmer Kingdom. 'Srey Snom' is the Cambodian term used to describe the Khmer 'lady-in-waiting'.


The term is colloquially used in film and stage, to describe an actress whose role consists of very little action or involvement.

 Notable ladies-in-waiting

  • Lady Mary Boleyn
    • Sister of the more famous Anne
    • Mistress to King Henry VIII in the 1520s
  • Four of Henry VIII's wives
    • Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour and Catherine Howard were all ladies-in-waiting to their predecessor before they became queen. His sixth wife, Katherine Parr, was lady-in-waiting to his daughter Mary Tudor.
  • Jane Parker, Lady Rochford
    • sister-in-law of Henry's second queen, Anne Boleyn
    • lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves and Catherine Howard
    • She was executed along with Catherine Howard at the Tower of London.
  • Jane Dormer, later Duchess of Feria
    • Devout Catholic and lady-in-waiting to Queen Mary I of England
  • Lady Katherine Ashley
    • governess and devoted lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth I
  • Lettice Knollys, Countess of Essex and Leicester
    • Lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth I.
    • Married Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, the Queen's great favourite, and was banished from court for it.
    • Mother of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, who attempted a coup d'etat and was executed for treason.
  • Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough
    • a favourite of Princess Anne, later Queen Anne of Great Britain.
    • She married John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and wielded immense political power until she fell out of favour with the queen.
  • Ulrika Strömfelt
    • Swedish aristocrat and lady-in-waiting to Louisa Ulrika of Prussia.
    • Prevented the attempted Coup d'état of the queen.
  • Gabrielle de Polastron, comtesse de Polignac
    • Favourite courtier of Queen Marie-Antoinette
    • Hugely influential member of the queen's household
    • She became greatly unpopular and later fled into exile in Switzerland after the Revolution of 1789
  • Louise-Elisabeth, Marquise de Tourzel
    • Ultra-royalist aristocrat in the time of Louis XVI
    • She was the last governess to the royal children, the Princess Royal and Louis XVII
    • She was later made a duchess by Louis XVI's younger brother Charles X
  • Lady Magdalena Rudenschöld
    • Swedish aristocrat and lady-in-waiting to Princess Sophia Albertine of Sweden.
    • Rudenschöld was a co-conspirator and agent of Gustaf Mauritz Armfelt in the called Armfelt consiracy to depose the Guardian government of Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden.
    • She was convicted of treason.
  • Countess Sophie Chotek
    • Czech aristocrat and a lady-in-waiting to Archduchesse Isabella von Croy-Dülmen
    • She married the emperor's nephew, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and had four children
    • She was shot to death along with her husband. Their assassination in Sarajevo triggered World War I.
  • Lady Anna Vyrubova
    • Best friend of the last Russian tsarina, Alexandra Fyodorovna.
  • Murasaki Shikibu
    • Attendant to the Japanese Empress Shoshi (Akiko) in 11th century Japan.
    • Author of the world's first novel, The Tale of Genji.
  • Lady Sei Shōnagon
    • Attendant to the Japanese Empress Fujiwara no Teishi from about 993-1000 C.E.
    • Author of the notable early Japanese prose collection, Pillow Book.
  • Ruth, Lady Fermoy
    • A long-time friend and a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
    • Maternal grandmother of Diana, Princess of Wales.
  • Jane Loftus, Marchioness of Ely
    • Close friend of Queen Victoria
  • Vibhavadi Rangsit, Lady-in-waiting to Queen Sirikit of Thailand, killed on a helicopter flight she diverted to pick up wounded men in Surat Thani, 16 February 1977.
  • Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, was before as Lady-in-waiting of former King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia which she known before as Paule-Monique Izzi. She generally as the 33rd lady in waiting of King which then elevated to the rank as Concubine after she gave the birth to two son and finally set out recently as the queen of Cambodia.

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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