17 April 2021

Loyal lady-in-waiting Susan Hussey in supporting role for Queen at funeral

17 April 2021

The Queen turned to her loyal lady-in-waiting, Lady Susan Hussey, for support on the day of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

Lady Susan, who was married to the late BBC chairman Marmaduke Hussey, is close to the Queen, having served her for decades.

Such is her bond with the royal family that Lady Susan, 81, is one of the Duke of Cambridge’s godparents, and also attended his confirmation in 1997.

During the past year she joined the Queen and Philip in HMS Bubble as one of about 20 staff who cared for the royal couple in lockdown at Windsor Castle.

Prince William’s Confirmation (PA Archive)

On Saturday, she accompanied the Queen in the State Bentley as she left the castle to join the rear of the procession carrying Philip’s coffin to St George’s Chapel.

Although entering the chapel, Lady Susan was there as a working household member and not one of the 30 guests.

Remaining nearby in case the Queen should need her, Lady Susan was not seated with the Windsors in the Quire, nor in the Nave, but elsewhere in the chapel.

Ladies-in-waiting are the unsung members of the Queen’s household and are personally chosen by the monarch.

They have a variety of duties including attending to private and personal matters for the Queen and handling her correspondence.

They also assist the Queen on official engagements, from handing her money to being passed the bouquets of flowers presented to her.

In 2001, Lady Susan passed the Queen a pound coin so she could buy The Big Issue from a magazine seller while on an official day trip to Brighton.

She has also been present at unique moments in history  – such as on the Spirit of Chartwell barge with the Queen and other members of the royal family for the Diamond Jubilee river pageant on the Thames in 2012.

Diamond Jubilee celebrations (PA Archive)

Ladies-in-waiting often serve the Queen for more than 50 years and act as both friends and loyal assistants, and their discretion and support will be invaluable as the Queen mourns.

The late Marmaduke Hussey, who died in 2006, was BBC chairman when Diana, Princess of Wales gave her 1995 Panorama interview but, in accordance with tradition, he was not given a preview.

“Duke” Hussey was a leading newspaper industry executive for decades, taking the prestigious BBC post when he retired from News International.

Lady Susan is also a sister of the former Tory Cabinet minister William Waldegrave.

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