female personal assistant at a court, royal or feudal, attending on a queen, a princess, or a high-ranking noblewoman

A lady-in-waiting (also called waiting maid) is a female personal helper at a noble court. A lady in waiting would be in charge of waking, dressing and accompanying a lady in her daily activities She helps a queen, a princess, or other noblewoman. A lady-in-waiting is often a noblewoman of a lower rank than the one she attends. She is not thought to be a servant. Their duties are different depending on the court. People with artistic talents were usually chosen. In Russia, girls between "fourteen or twenty [sic]" were chosen, and left the court when she married.[1] People like Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr were all ladies-in-waiting.

Diego Velázquez, "Las Meninas" (1656)

Famous ladies-in-waitingEdit

The Countess of Valentinois (Lady-in-waiting to the French-Italian Countess of Provence)


  1. "Руниверс". (in Russian). Retrieved 1 June 2010.