Maid of honour
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- This article discusses the court title. For the ceremonial position in a wedding, see bridesmaid. For the 2008 movie see Made of Honor. For the traditional English dish, see Maids of honour tart.
A maid of honour was a maiden, meaning that she was unmarried, and was usually young. Lady Jane Grey, for example, served as a maid of honour to Queen Catherine Parr in about 1546-48, when Jane was only about ten to twelve years old.
Maids of honour should not be confused with maids of the court. Maids of honour were almost always in their sixteenth year or older. Anne Bassett was deemed too young to be a maid of honour to Anne Boleyn, but she gained a place under Jane Seymour. Under Mary I and Elizabeth I, maids of honour were at court as a kind of finishing school, with the hope of making a good marriage. Elizabeth Knollys was a maid of the court at the age of nine.
Some of the maids of honour were paid, while others were not.
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the term maid of honour in waiting was sometimes used.
- Lady Moyra Hamilton, daughter of James Hamilton, 4th Duke of Abercorn;
- Lady Anne Coke, daughter of Thomas Coke, 5th Earl of Leicester;
- Lady Jane Vane-Tempest-Stewart, daughter of Robin Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 8th Marquess of Londonderry;
- Lady Mary Baillie-Hamilton, daughter of George Baillie-Hamilton, 12th Earl of Haddington;
- Lady Jane Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, daughter of James Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 3rd Earl of Ancaster; and
- Lady Rosemary Spencer-Churchill, daughter of John Spencer-Churchill, 10th Duke of Marlborough.
The term lady-in-waiting describes a woman who attends a female member of the Royal Family other than the queen regnant or queen consort. An attendant upon one of the latter is a lady of the bedchamber or woman of the bedchamber, and the senior lady-in-waiting is the mistress of the robes. The women of the bedchamber are in regular attendance, but the mistress of the robes and the ladies of the bedchamber are normally only required for ceremonial occasions.
- Lisle Letters
- The London Gazette: . 9 January 1912. Retrieved 2008-07-24.:"Marlborough House, 1st January, 1912. Queen Alexandra has been graciously pleased to appoint Miss Ivy Gordon-Lennox to be one of the Maids of Honour to Her Majesty in the room of the Honourable Blanche Lascelles, resigned."