Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty > Servants, Friends and Retainers

Ladies-in-waiting,maids-of-honor,maids of Empress Alexandra F.

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    In the middle ages in most european nations a lady in waiting's role was to attend the Queen, help her to bathe, dress etc... and to socialise and amuse her acting as a companion/aid- a bit of a social guide /spy /  roommate / servant...
   But by the time of the 19th-20th century in Russia I really am not certain what would be entailed by this.


The moder version is a pretty good model.
In the case of QEII, they accompany the Queen on visits, dinners, theatre and such. Help her entertain guests so that no one feels left alone. Take tha flowers that are given to her & pass them on, carry extra personal items like gloves, napkins,[handerchiefs] perhaps even shoes. They used to also answer mail, usually from children. Probably most likely dictated and signed it. Keep her company while traveling. Keep personal staff organised.
That sort of thing.

Speaking about Ladies in waiting, browsing the site of my favorite secondhand bookstore in A'dam, I found this wonderful book about a lady in waiting.
"Louisa Lady in Waiting"- The personal diaries and albums of Louisa lady in waiting to Queen Victoria and Queen Alexandra- - compiled and edited by Elizabeth Longford.
Louisa Countess of Antrim spent nearly twenty years in the service of two Queens. It's a close observation of live at Victorian and Edwardian Court. The book describes daily life at Balmoral, Windsor, Osborne etc.
The book is full of anecdotes, photo's of the royal family and other royals, menu's, programme's of celebrations, inivitations too much to mention.
There's also an account of the journey on the royal yacht Victoria & Albert to Reval in Russia to meet the Standart with the IF.
Interesting is that the Tsar and Tsarina insisted on vistiting the King and Queen first, contrary to protocol but a nephew's respect for an uncle. There's also a note about Alix, who was found weeping alone one moment during the King's visit.

I don't know if anyone has read this book, but if you want to know how live of a Lady in waiting looks like I would highly recommend this.


Hi Anne,

I have never come across your book. Does the author explain why Alix was seen crying? This is quite intriguing!


--- Quote ---Belochka, Why would Sophie Buxhoeveden have gotten such a high rank if she was the daughter of an Ambassdor ?  And I read somewhere that Countess Hendrikov's mother was a Princess. Where the daughters of noble princesses titled countesses ?  Two things i wondered about. F.
--- End quote ---

Hi Felix,

Sophie's father according to her own memoir Before the Storm, states that her father family were Russian subjects since the early eighteenth century. He father was a graduate of SPb University before entering his career in diplomacy.

To answer your second query, nobility is passed down by the father. More likely Countess Hendrikov's father was a Count, and it was his title which passed down to his daughters? Maybe some else would know more? :)


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