Author Topic: Differences between servants and rankings  (Read 2722 times)

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Offline Sasta33

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Differences between servants and rankings
« on: May 03, 2006, 11:50:11 AM »
Hi everybody:

I have a question about some of the titles I have seen given to maids and servants:

What's the difference between a Maid of Honor, and a Maid in Waiting? How does the ranking of servants work? Could one work their way up through these different positions?

This sounds stupid, but when I saw someone write about a Maid of Honor in another post, I immediately thought about weddings.  ;D So I was curious as to how this ranking of servants worked. If anyone has a rough idea or some type of list, that would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Differences between servants and rankings
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2006, 08:59:17 AM »
First of all, the terms "Maid of Honor" or "Maid in Waiting" do NOT refer to servants!  They are the equivalent terms to "Lady of Honor" and "Lady in Waiting" but for unmarried women.  Servants did have their own heirarchy and status.  The closer one was to a member of the Imperial Family, the higher the status.  Generally one could advance in rank. Though there were limits, and the highest ranks went to members of the nobility.  But, take Volkov for example, he went from being a corridor guard in the Winter Palace, to Grand Duke Paul's personal Valet, and then Personal Valet to the Empress.

Offline aussiechick12

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Re: Differences between servants and rankings
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2006, 04:02:18 AM »
This information comes from The Court of the Last Tsar: Pomp, Power and Pageanry in the Reign of Nicholas II by Greg King.

In the Empress's Suite: (highest to lowest ranking)

Mistress of the Robes (ober-gofmeistererina starshaya dama) and the Senior Lady-in-Waiting (dames a potrait) :They acted as an intermediary between the empress and her suite, supervised and trained the ladies-in-waiting, and delegated their appointments. She would attended all offical and state functions, personally present important diplomats and guests to the Empress ans served as the Emperor offical hostess in his wifes absence from ordinary luncheons and dinners. On important cerimonial occasions she immediatley followed the empress in procession and kept the roster of the Empress's Suite.
Reserved for married women of many years service, who position was distinguishedby the Empress's Personal Order, a small oval portrait of Alexandra painted on ivory, surrounded by diamonds, and hung upon a blue moire bow.
Ladies in Waiting (starshiye dami) : Were well trained: they never intruded, always walked serveral steps behind the Empress and rarely spoke. At the Palace they routinely dealt with correspondance, answering numerous requests that came to the Empress and arranged ordinary requests for audiences. They were forbidden to be seen on public transport; they were provided with court carriages or motorcars.
Personal Ladies-in-Waiting (kamer-frelini) :Worked on a rotationg basis spending two weeks on duty, with four weeks off. The alternated holidays and vacations with other women. On public occasion, at least on attended the Empress, holding flowers, handing her speeches, acting as an escort and smoothering over any problems.
Ordinary Ladies-in-Waiting (Kaval' er-dami) or dames of the Order of St. Catherine
Maids of honor (freilini)
"Cameo like profile . . . a lovely rose maiden and as pure as flower" - Lili Dehn on Tatiana.