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Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting at her coronation

Table of Contents:

Introduction
Queen Victoria's Ladies-in-Waiting at her Coronation:
      • Train-Bearers
      • Mistress of the Robes
      • First and Principal Lady of the Bedchamber
      • Ladies of the Bedchamber
      • Maids of Honour
      • Women of the Bedchamber
Sources


 
Introduction:

Queen Victoria succeeded her uncle, King William IV, as sovereign of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 20 June 1837. Almost immediately and for a few short weeks afterwards, appointments to her Household were made, including selecting the Mistress of the Robes, Ladies of the Bedchamber, Women of the Bedchamber, and Maids of Honour.

By early May 1838 with her Coronation approaching, Queen Victoria chose the women she wanted to carry her train at her Coronation the following month. The eight women were young (between the ages of 17 and 23), unmarried, and all Anglican, except for one (Lady Mary Talbot, who was Roman Catholic).1 The Queen then sent a letter with the list of names to her Prime Minister Lord Melbourne. If he didn't object to the choice of names, Her Majesty asked if he would "kindly undertake to speak or write to the parents of the young ladies" offering them the honour of attending the Queen.2 The proposed list of women raised no objections with Lord Melbourne, and Queen Victoria's choices were accepted.

Queen Victoria was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 28 June 1838. Upon arriving at the Abbey, the Queen went to a nearby robing room or chamber, where her train-bearers had assembled. Queen Victoria noted in her Journal that the young women were "all dressed alike and beautifully in white satin and silver tissue with wreaths of silver corn-ears in front, and a small one of pink roses round the plait behind, and pink roses in the trimming of the dresses".3 Mrs Andrew Stevenson, who was present at the Coronation with her husband the American Minister to the Court of St. James's, described the train-bearers' dresses as: "[..] white satin with lace over it and bunches of pale pink roses up before, on their heads a string of diamonds with blush roses [...]".4 As Mistress of the Robes, the Duchess of Sutherland was responsible for the accounting of expenses incurred by the Queen for her clothing, including the robes required for the Coronation.5 But it was the Duchess of Richmond who was in charge of the train-bearers clothing and who "had ordered the make of the dresses", according to Queen's Journal entry for Coronation Day.6 The Duchess of Richmond, whose daughter Lady Caroline Gordon-Lennox was one of the Queen's train-bearers, did not seek input from the mothers regarding their daughters' dresses, nor did she wish any "discussion with their Mammas about it", as she told Lord Melbourne.7 Such a course of action proved unfortunate, however, because the young ladies found it difficult to properly carry the Queen's heavy eight-foot-long velvet and ermine train8 while having to manage their own trains as well. Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope, when Duchess of Cleveland, wrote an account of the day. In her recollection, she commented that the train-bearers' dresses were not "brilliant enough in so dazzling an assembly, and our little trains were serious annoyances, for it was impossible to avoid treading upon them. We ought never to have had them; and there certainly should have been some previous rehearsing, for we carried the Queen's train very jerkily and badly, never keeping step properly".9 The Mistress of the Robes "severely scolded [the train-bearers] for their clumsiness".10 If Queen Victoria noticed any 'clumsiness', she did not mention it in her Journal, and seemed genuinely satisfied with her "young train-bearers [who] were always near me, and helped me whenever I wanted anything".11

Footnotes:

1. Benson/Esher, Letters of Queen Victoria, Vol. I, p. 114.
2. Benson/Esher, Letters of Queen Victoria, Vol. I, p. 114.
3. Benson/Esher, Letters of Queen Victoria, Vol. I, p. 121.
4. Boykin, Victoria, p. 194.
5. Staniland, In Royal Fashion, p. 98. The ledger entries showing the breakdown of expenses for the Queen's Coronation Robes as submitted by the Mistress of the Robes to the Office of Robes can be seen on pages 110-111.
6. Benson/Esher, Letters of Queen Victoria, Vol. I, p. 124.
7. Benson/Esher, Letters of Queen Victoria, Vol. I, p. 124.
8. Staniland, In Royal Fashion, p. 112.
9. Lorne, V.R.I., p. 82. Of the thirty-two women who attended Queen Victoria in a public capacity on Coronation Day, Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope was the longest-lived attendant, and the only one to survive Queen Victoria. Lady Wilhelmina died in May 1901, four months after the Queen.
10. Longford, Queen Victoria, p. 79.
11. Benson/Esher, Letters of Queen Victoria, Vol. I, p. 121.

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Queen Victoria's Ladies-in-Waiting at her Coronation

N.B.: The following lists of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting at her Coronation are shown in their order of Procession, according to the Supplement to The London Gazette of Tuesday the 3rd of July [1838], as seen in The Royal Household, p. 201. The order is as follows: The Queen, Train-Bearers (walking two at a time, on Her Majesty's right to left), Mistress of the Robes (walking singly), First and Principal Lady of the Bedchamber (walking singly), Ladies of the Bedchamber (walking two at a time, on Her Majesty's right to left), Maids of Honour (walking two at a time, on Her Majesty's right to left), and Women of the Bedchamber (walking two at a time, on Her Majesty's right to left).
 
Train-Bearers:

Lady Caroline Gordon-Lennox
Born: 18 June 1819; Died: 30 April 1890
Parents: Charles Gordon-Lennox, 5th Duke of Richmond and Lady Caroline Paget
Spouse: John Ponsonby, 5th Earl of Bessborough (1809-1880)
Notes:
• One of Queen Victoria's bridesmaids in 1840.

Lady Adelaide Paget
Born: ca 1821; Died: 21 August 1890
Parents: Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey and Charlotte Cadogan
Spouse: Honourable Frederick Cadogan (1821-1904) (son of 3rd Earl Cadogan)
Notes:
• One of Queen Victoria's bridesmaids in 1840.

Lady Mary Talbot
Born: 29 May 1815; Died: 18 December 1858
Parents: John Talbot, 16th Earl of Shrewsbury and Maria Theresa Talbot
Spouse: Filippo Doria-Pamphilj-Landi, 9th Principe di Melfi (1813-1876)

Lady Frances (Fanny) Cowper
Born: 9 (or 8) February 1820; Died: 26 March 1880
Parents: Peter Cowper, 5th Earl Cowper and Honourable Emily Lamb
Spouse: Robert Jocelyn (1816-1854), styled by courtesy Viscount Jocelyn from 1820 to 1854 (son and heir of 3rd Earl of Roden)
Notes:
• Her future sister-in-law, Baroness Barham (later Countess of Gainsborough), was a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria at her Coronation, see below.
• One of Queen Victoria's bridesmaids in 1840 (as Lady Frances Cowper); Lady of the Bedchamber 1841-1867 (as Viscountess Cowper);  Extra Lady of the Bedchamber 1867-1880.
• Appointed VA (Royal Order of Victoria and Albert), 2nd class.

Lady (Catherine Lucy) Wilhelmina Stanhope
Born: 1 June 1819; Died: 18 May 1901
Parents: Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl Stanhope and Honourable Catherine Smith
Spouses: (1) Archibald Primrose (1809-1851), styled by courtesy Lord Dalmeny from 1814 to 1851 (son and heir of 4th Earl of Rosebery); (2) Honourable Harry Vane (later Powlett in 1864), later 4th (and last) Duke of Cleveland (succeeded in 1864) (1803-1891)
Notes:
• One of Queen Victoria's bridesmaids in 1840.

Lady Anne Wentworth-FitzWilliam
Born: ... ; Died: 29 April 1879
Parents: Charles Wentworth-FitzWilliam, 5th Earl FitzWilliam and Honourable Mary Dundas
Spouse: James Mackenzie, later Sir James Mackenzie, 6th Baronet (succeeded in 1843) (1814-1884)

Lady Louisa Jenkinson
Born: ca 1815; Died: 5 February 1887
Parents: Sir Charles Jenkinson, 3rd (and last) Earl of Liverpool and Julia Shuckburgh-Evelyn
Spouse: John Cotes (...-...)
Notes:
• A first cousin of Lady Mary Grimston, see next.

Lady Mary Grimston
Born: 29 July 1820; Died: 5 April 1879
Parents: James Grimston, 1st Earl of Verulam and Lady Charlotte Jenkinson
Spouse: Jacob Pleydell-Bouverie, styled by courtesy Viscount Folkestone from 1828 to 1869, 4th Earl of Radnor (succeeded in 1869) (1815-1889)
Notes:
• A first cousin of Lady Louisa Jenkinson, see previous.
• One of Queen Victoria's bridesmaids in 1840.

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Mistress of the Robes:

Duchess of Sutherland (née Lady Harriet Howard)
Born: 21 May 1806; Died: 27 October 1868
Parents: George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle and Lady Georgiana Cavendish
Spouse: George Leveson-Gower (later Sutherland-Leveson-Gower in 1841), 2nd Duke of Sutherland (1786-1861)
Notes:
• Mistress of the Robes to HM The Queen 1837-1841, 1846-1852, 1853-1858 and 1859-1861.
• Appointed VA (Royal Order of Victoria and Albert), 2nd class.

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First and Principal Lady of the Bedchamber:

Marchioness of Lansdowne (née Lady Louisa Fox-Strangways)
Born: 27 June 1785; Died: 3 April 1851
Parents: Henry Fox-Strangways, 2nd Earl of Ilchester and Mary Theresa O'Grady
Spouse: Henry Petty-FitzMaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne (1780-1863)
Notes:
• "First and Principal Lady of the Bedchamber" to Queen Victoria 1837-1838.

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Ladies of the Bedchamber:

Marchioness of Normanby (née Maria Liddell)
Born: 20 April 1798; Died: 20 October 1882
Parents: Sir Thomas Liddell, 6th Baronet and 1st Baron Ravensworth and Maria Susannah Simpson
Spouse: Constantine Phipps, 1st Marquess of Normanby (created on 25 June 1838, three days before Queen Victoria's Coronation) (1797-1863)
Notes:
• Lady of the Bedchamber (as Countess of Mulgrave, then later as Marchioness of Normanby) to Queen Victoria 1837-1841.

Marchioness of Tavistock (later Duchess of Bedford) (née Lady Anna Maria Stanhope)
Born: 3 September 1783; Died: 3 July 1857
Parents: Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl of Harrington and Jane Fleming
Spouse: Francis Russell, styled by courtesy Marquess of Tavistock from 1802 to 1839, 7th Duke of Bedford (succeeded in 1839) (1788-1861)
Notes:
• Lady of the Bedchamber (as Marchioness of Tavistock, then later as Duchess of Bedford) to Queen Victoria 1837-1841.
• Chief mourner at the funeral of H.R.H. Princess Augusta in 1840. (Princess Augusta was the younger daughter of King George III and aunt of Queen Victoria.)

Countess of Charlemont (née Anne Bermingham)
Born: ca 1785; Died: 23 November 1876
Parents: William Bermingham and Mary Ruttledge
Spouse: Francis Caulfield, 2nd Earl of Charlemont (1775-1863)
Notes:
• Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria 1837-1854.

Baroness Lyttelton (née Lady Sarah Spencer)
Born: 29 July 1787; Died: 13 April 1870
Parents: George Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer and Lady Lavinia Bingham
Spouse: William Lyttelton, 3rd Baron Lyttelton (1782-1837)
Notes:
• Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria 1837-1842, then Lady Superintendent (Governess) of the Royal Children 1842-1850.

Baroness Barham (later Countess of Gainsborough) (née Honourable, then from 1820 Lady Frances Jocelyn)
Born: 20 November 1814; Died: 12 May 1885
Parents: Robert Jocelyn, 3rd Earl of Roden and Honourable Maria Stapleton
Spouse: Sir Charles Noel, 3rd Baron Barham, later 1st Earl of Gainsborough (created in 1841) (1781-1866)
Notes:
• Her future sister-in-law, Lady Frances Cowper, was a Train-Bearer to Queen Victoria at her Coronation, see above.
• Lady of the Bedchamber (as Baroness Barham, then later as Countess of Gainsborough) to Queen Victoria 1837-1872, then an Extra Lady of the Bedchamber 1873-1885.
• Chief mourner at the funeral of H.R.H. Princess Sophia Matilda in 1844. (Princess Sophia Matilda was the great-granddaughter of King George III.)
• Appointed VA (Royal Order of Victoria and Albert), 2nd class.

Baroness Portman (née Miss, then in 1814 Honourable, then from 1820 Lady Emma Lascelles)
Born: 16 March 1809; Died: 8 February 1865
Parents: Henry Lascelles, 2nd Earl of Harewood and Henrietta Sebright
Spouse: Edward Portman, 1st Baron Portman, later 1st Viscount Portman of Bryanston (created in 1873) (1799-1888)
Notes:
• Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria 1837-1851, then an Extra Lady of the Bedchamber 1851-1865.
• Appointed VA (Royal Order of Victoria and Albert), 2nd class.

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Maids of Honour:

N.B.: Maids of Honour all have ex officio (by virtue of office) the title "Honourable" for life. Those designated "Honourable" in this list were the daughters of Peers.

Honourable Margaret Dillon
Born: 3 February 1816; Died: 19 April 1885
Parents: Henry Dillon, 13th Viscount Dillon and Henrietta Browne
Spouse: William Hamilton (...-...)
Notes:
• Maid of Honour to Queen Victoria 1837-1838.

Honourable Harriet Pitt
Born: 17 January 1816; Died: 18 July 1876
Parents: William Pitt-Rivers, 3rd Baron Rivers and Frances Rigby
Spouse: Charles Bruce (1802-1864) (grandson of 9th Earl of Kincardine and 5th Earl of Elgin)
Notes:
• Maid of Honour to Queen Victoria 1837-1841.

Honourable Caroline Cocks
Born: 6 August 1817; Died: 14 November 1894
Parents: John Cocks, later Somers-Cocks (in 1841), 2nd Earl Sommers (Somers) and Lady Caroline Yorke
Spouse: Reverend the Honourable Charles Courtenay (1816-1894) (son of 10th Earl of Devon)
Notes:
• Maid of Honour (as Honourable Caroline Cocks, then as Lady Caroline Somers-Cocks from 1841) to Queen Victoria 1837-1849.
• Her husband was Resident Chaplain to Queen Victoria; they married in the Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace.

Amelia Murray
Born: 30 April 1795; Died: 7 June 1884 (d. unmarried)
Parents: Right Reverend Lord George Murray (son of 3rd Duke of Atholl) and Anne Grant
Notes:
• Maid of Honour to Queen Victoria 1837-1853, then an Extra Maid of Honour 1853, and finally a Woman of the Bedchamber 1853-1855.

Matilda Paget
Born: 7 July 1811; Died: 17 May 1871 (d. unmarried)
Parents: Honourable Berkeley Paget (son of 1st Earl of Uxbridge) and Sophia Bucknall
Notes:
• Maid of Honour to Queen Victoria 1837-1855.

Sarah Cavendish
Born: 27 August 1813; Died: 21 April 1881
Parents: General the Honourable Henry Cavendish (son of 1st Earl of Burlington) and Sarah Fawkener
Spouse: John Campbell, styled by courtesy Viscount Emlyn from 1827 to 1860, 2nd Earl Cawdor (succeeded in 1860) (1817-1898)
Notes:
• Maid of Honour to Queen Victoria 1837-1842.

Mary Spring Rice
Born: 12 May 1812; Died: 11 May 1875
Parents: Right Honourable Thomas Spring Rice, later 1st Baron Monteagle (created in 1839) and Lady Theodosia Pery
Spouse: James Marshall (...-...)
Notes:
• Maid of Honour to Queen Victoria 1837-1841.

Harriet Lister
Born: 18 June 1809; Died: 16 June 1884
Parents: Thomas Lister and Mary Grove
Spouse: Reverend Edward Grove, later Hartopp-Cradock (...-1886)
Notes:
• Maid of Honour to Queen Victoria 1837-1844.

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Women of the Bedchamber:

Viscountess Forbes (née Frances Territt)
Born: 21 October 1810; Died: 25 December 1877
Parents: William Territt and Anne Parkyns
Spouse: (1) George Forbes (1785-1836), styled by courtesy Viscount Forbes from birth to 1836 (son and heir of 6th Earl of Granard); (2) Thomas Nugent Vaughan (...-1847)
Notes:
• She retained her courtesy style (Viscountess Forbes) after her remarriage.
• Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria 1837-1874, then an Extra Woman of the Bedchamber 1874-1877.
• Appointed VA (Royal Order of Victoria and Albert), 3rd class.

Lady Theresa Digby (née Lady Theresa Fox-Strangways)
Born: 11 January 1814; Died: 2 May 1874
Parents: Henry Fox-Strangways, 3rd Earl of Ilchester and Caroline Murray
Spouse: Edward Digby, later 9th Baron Digby of Geashill and 3rd Baron Digby of Sherborne (succeeded to both peerages in 1856) (1809-1889)
Notes:
• Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria 1837-1856.

Lady Harriet Clive (née Lady Harriet Windsor)
Born: 30 July 1797; Died: 9 November 1869
Parents: Other Hickman Windsor, 5th Earl of Plymouth and 11th Baron Windsor and Honourable Sarah Archer
Spouse: Honourable Robert Clive (1789-1854) (son 1st Earl of Powis)
Notes:
• Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria 1837-1841.
• Co-heiress of her brother the 12th Baron Windsor and 6th Earl of Plymouth; the abeyance of the Barony of Windsor was terminated in her favour in October 1855, at which time she became (13th) Baroness Windsor (she also assumed the additional name of Windsor before that of Clive in November 1855).
• Her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Northumberland (formerly Lady Charlotte Clive), was Governess to Queen Victoria when Princess.

Lady Caroline Barrington (née Lady Caroline Grey)
Born: 30 August 1799; Died: 28 April 1875
Parents: Sir Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey and Honourable Mary Ponsonby
Spouse: Captain the Honourable George Barrington (1794-1835) (son of 5th Viscount Barrington)
Notes:
• Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria 1837-1875, and Lady Superintendent to T.R.H. the Princesses (the Queen's daughters).
• Appointed VA (Royal Order of Victoria and Albert), 3rd class.

Lady Charlotte Copley (later Lady Copley) (née Lady Charlotte Anderson-Pelham)
Born: 22 October 1810; Died: 10 August 1875
Parents: Charles Anderson-Pelham, 1st Earl of Yarborough and Henrietta Simpson
Spouse: Sir Joseph Copley, 4th (and last) Baronet (1804-1883)
Notes:
• Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria 1837-1866, then an Extra Woman of the Bedchamber 1866-1875.
• Appointed VA (Royal Order of Victoria and Albert), 3rd class.

Honourable Mrs Campbell (née Charlotte Gascoigne)
Born: 30 June 1802; Died: 14 October 1873
Parents: General Isaac Gascoigne and Mary Williamson
Spouse: Honourable George Campbell (1793-1858) (son of 1st Baron Cawdor)
Notes:
• Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria 1837-1873.

Honourable Mrs Brand (née Susan Cavendish)
Born: 1 March 1817; Died: 13 August 1896
Parents: Honourable Charles Cavendish, later 1st Baron Chesham (in 1858) and Lady Catherine Gordon
Spouse: Thomas Brand, later Honourable Thomas Trevor (in 1851), 22nd Baron Dacre (succeeded in 1853) (1808-1890)
Notes:
• Woman of the Bedchamber (as Mrs Brand, then as Honourable Mrs Brand) to Queen Victoria 1837-1853.

Lady Gardiner (née Caroline Macleod)
Born: 15 January 1784; Died: 15 January 1876
Parents: General Sir John Macleod and Lady Wilhelmina Kerr
Spouse: Lieutenant-Colonel (later General) Sir Robert Gardiner (1781-1864)
Notes:
• Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria 1837-1859.
• Her husband, Robert, was Principal Equerry to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, later King Leopold I of the Belgians.

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Sources:

Benson, Arthur Christopher and Viscount Esher, eds. Letters of Queen Victoria: A Selection From Her Majesty's Correspondence Between the Years 1837 and 1861. 3 vols. London: John Murray, 1911.
Boykin, Edward, ed. Victoria, Albert, and Mrs. Stevenson. New York: Rinehart & Company, Inc., 1957.
Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 106th edition, 1999.
The Complete Peerage. 2nd edition, reprint, 2000.
Lindsay, W. A. The Royal Household 1837-1897. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trόbner & Co., Ltd., 1898.
Longford, Elizabeth. Queen Victoria: Born to Succeed. New York: Perennial Library, 1974.
Lorne, Marquess of. V.R.I.: Queen Victoria Her Life and Empire. New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1901.
Somerset, Anne. Ladies-in-Waiting, From the Tudors to the Present Day. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984.
Staniland, Kay. In Royal Fashion: The Clothes of Princess Charlotte of Wales and Queen Victoria 1796-1901. London: Museum of London, 1997.
The Times (of London).

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