A Female Peer to the Gentleman’s Valet, a Lady’s Maid is a Modern Lady-in-Waiting, Version 2.0
Tending to her client’s wardrobe and personal affairs, her focus is the satisfaction and assistance of the lady of the house, but can extend to a much wider scope in keeping with a modern woman’s needs and requirements.
Encompassing a full spectrum of responsibilities, we engage Lady’s Maids who are skilled and adept at personal grooming, wardrobe assistance and styling advice. We ensure your Lady’s Maid matches your household in regards to etiquette, culture and any specialities you may demand.
What is a Lady-in-Waiting?
The term ‘lady-in-waiting’ brings to mind a role dating back many centuries when every female member of a royal family typically had one. The role was filled by a woman who was usually from nobility or who at least came from a “good society” family and acted as a personal assistant but was often thought of as more of a companion or friend than that of an employee.
Historically, Lady’s Maids were chosen by a Princess (or the Queen herself), the Royal Family, or a combination of both. Quaint terms, but somewhat obsolete, for Lady’s Maids are companion, confidante, domestic, lady’s attendant, lady-in-waiting and waiting woman.
In an era prior to the ultra-modern conveniences of our digital age, a lady’s maid would perform more or less the same tasks as a gentleman’s valet: helping with personal appearance, hairdressing, clothing, jewellery, and shoes. A lady’s maid would also mend and alter garments when needed. In those days, people wore elaborate clothes with many more accessories and accoutrement than today. A lady’s maid would serve her mistress breakfast in her room and also draw her mistress’s bath but wouldn’t be expected to clean her mistress’s quarters, as that would be accomplished by the housekeeper. People changed clothes an average of 5 times during the day, which meant that attendants were needed to maintain their wardrobes, which was a full time job. Even for their baths, a person was needed to heat and fetch the water.
None of these effectively capture the 21st century demands placed upon the shoulders of a capable Lady’s Maid.
Description of a Lady’s Maid
Hired to serve as a lady-in-waiting to her female employer, she serves as a personal maid to the lady of the house. A client in need of a Lady’s Maid is typically a woman who leads a very busy lifestyle with social and professional engagements that require extensive wardrobe and lifestyle assistance. A Lady’s Maid will not only travel with her employer but may also act as her personal assistant in all arrangements before and during travel which include caring for and maintenance of her wardrobe and garments in all aspects and also ensuring that her personal living quarters are immaculate.
Traditionally, a Lady’s Maid oversees the maintenance of her employer’s wardrobe, draws her bath, lays out her clothes, serves her meals when required, and keeps her client’s quarters tidy; this role is also changing with the times. In 2017, Kate Middleton’s previous ‘Girl Friday’ Rebecca Deacon decided to leave her post prior to her marriage and was replaced by the Chief Operating Officer of Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, Catherine Quinn, who has a great deal of philanthropic experience and has taken on the role of Private Secretary. This changing of the guard is a sure sign that the Duchess of Cambridge plans to carve out a more serious role for herself with her patronages and charity campaigning.
Traditional and Some Modern Responsibilities of a Lady’s Maid
- Responsible for the lady of the household, with care of the wardrobe and her private rooms, including care, cleaning, pressing and mending of clothes and preparing clothes for packing
- Personal shopping and styling service and personal grooming assistant with requisite training in high end fashion and design.
- Knowledge and training in spa or beauty treatments, including manicures, pedicures, facials or massage.
- Caring for wardrobe, ensuring that all items sent out for specialist cleaning or alterations are promptly returned and that the work is carried out to a high standard. Ability to catalogue your wardrobe ease of location and rotation of seasonal items.
- Packing and unpacking clothing to have everything ready for use shortly after arriving at your destination.
There has always been a tradition with this role for the ladies maid to be mindful and informed about etiquette, local cultures and formalities to ensure that you can relax in the knowledge that you are always appropriately dressed for the occasion.
Desirable Qualities of a Lady’s Maid
- Sufficient experience equivalent to 3+ years in a similar role or a combination therein.
- Experience equivalent to or of an advanced degree in fashion.
- A knowledge of specialist cleaning and care of all fabrics, pelts and leather.
- Sewing skills for repairs and alterations.
- An advanced knowledge of luxury brands and retailers and the ability to access their availability online at a moment’s notice.
- Knowledge of spa and beauty treatments, yoga and fitness regimens as well as additional languages due to the probability of travel within this role.