Who is royal aide Lady Susan Hussey?

Former lady-in-waiting stepped down from palace role after incident in which she asked guest where she ‘really came from’

Lady Susan Hussey has been a pivotal figure in the royal family for decades, serving as one of Queen’s Elizabeth II’s lady-in-waiting for more than 60 years.

She was the late monarch’s longest-serving lady-in-waiting with the title Woman of the Bedchamber and is also a godmother to the Prince of Wales, but on Wednesday stepped down from her palace role and apologised after a black charity founder at a reception was left feeling traumatised after Hussey questioned her repeatedly about where she “really came from”.

Lady Susan was born in 1939 and was the fifth and youngest daughter of the 12th Earl Waldegrave and Mary Hermione, Countess Waldegrave. She is the sister of the former Conservative cabinet minister William Waldegrave.

The 83-year-old began working for the royal family in 1960, the same year the Queen gave birth to her third child, Prince Andrew.

Her role was initially to help reply to letters and eventually was promoted to the inner circle of ladies-in-waiting due to her knowledge of the workings of the palace. She was a close friend of Queen Elizabeth II and would often spend time with her at Balmoral.

The role of lady-in-waiting was typically given to wealthy aristocrats who were not paid a salary, but becoming Woman of the Bedchamber was considered a prestigious role.

She sat alongside the Queen in the royal Bentley on the journey to the funeral of Prince Philip who died aged 99 in April 2021.

Lady Susan also led members of the royal household at the Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey in September.

She was promoted to Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) in the 2013 Birthday Honours, and also received several long service awards for her faithful service to the Queen.

The royal aide is also a good friend of Queen Margrethe of Denmark and attended the Cop27 reception in Egypt this month.

She has now stepped down from her honorary role as one of three Ladies of the Household, to which she was appointed last week to help King Charles III at formal occasions.

Lady Susan’s late husband was Marmaduke Hussey, who was BBC chair for 10 years. He died aged 83 in 2006.

Her daughter Lady Katherine Brooke is a close friend of the queen consort, and has just been appointed one of Camilla’s six new Queen’s Companions.


Nadeem Badshah

The GuardianTramp

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