MAY 18, 2022
Queen Elizabeth smiling. – Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II, long known for tradition, has been “shaking things up” a bit at Windsor Castle as of late. First, the queen shocked the world by expressing her wishes that Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, be named Queen Consort upon her son and heir Charles’ ascension to the throne (as shared by Cosmopolitan). Next, Her Majesty delegated Prince Charles to give the Queen’s Speech to Parliament in early May, marking only the third time the queen has missed this event in 70 years according to The New York Times. Now, it appears as if the long-serving monarch may be taking on a new roommate.
The rumors of this new roommate involve a friend and employee of Her Majesty, for which the queen has previously broken precedent. Assigning this confidant the role of her “first ever” personal assistant to the queen in 2001 according to Harper’s Bazaar, this friend currently serves the official role of Personal Advisor to Her Majesty (jewelry, insignias, and wardrobe). In this role, the assistant has longtime accompanied the aueen on her travels, as well as assisting with her fashion and outfits for over 20 years. In addition, they have also made a number of custom dresses for the aueen, most notably the pale yellow dress worn to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding.
This close friend, confidant, and now roommate is none other than the queen’s “best friend” according to The Sun, Angela Kelly. Here is what we know about Kelly’s relationship with the queen.
About Angela Kelly
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Amid continuing reports that Her Majesty is struggling with mobility, specifically the ability to walk, The Sun reports that Angela Kelly has now moved into a suite next to the queen’s private quarters. Sharing from an unnamed source the magazine adds, “She lives there now. She has moved in.” This living situation is not necessarily a trial run, however, as Kelly was part of the royal COVID-19 bubble.
Kelly detailed her story of being part of the queen’s inner circle during the pandemic in a revised and recently released copy of her book “The Other Side of The Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe” according to Newsweek. The publication marks not only an insider’s look at intimate life with the queen, but also an occasion of rare approval and blessing by Her Majesty for the authorship of such a book as well. Kelly’s insights into royal life follow the original 2019 publication of the same name, and her first book titled “Dressing the Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe” in 2012. Highlights from these stories include the queen’s continuing reliance on Kelly throughout times of personal loss and declining health, as well as humorous anecdotes such as how Kelly wears the queen’s shoes to break them in first, since they share the same shoe size.
In a book excerpt shared by Newsweek, Kelly shares of the job, “The work is varied and never stops, and long may it continue!”
Yet Kelly didn’t start out as a close confidant, instead working her way up to this prestigious position.
Kelly’s Longtime History With The Queen
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Express UK once described Kelly as, “The servant who became the queen’s soulmate.” Kelly has humble roots, as the daughter of a nursee and a crane driver. Her birthplace was a council house in Walton. For American audiences, that translates to low-income housing, somewhere between the suburbs and inner city of Liverpool. The dresser and dressmaker is described as having a heavy accent, and a background quite untraditional among the Windsors, as she has been divorced multiple times and is Catholic.
Kelly began her royal career as a housekeeper to British ambassador to Germany, Sir Christopher Mallaby, where she first met the queen in 1992. Moving back to the UK sometime after, Kelly’s ex-husband has since recounted her 1994 interview with the palace. “She was over the moon about getting the job,” shared Jim Kelly with the Daily Mail. “It was what she had wanted to do all her life. She didn’t care about the salary — money never bothered Angela — it was about her position. Little did I know how much it would change our life.”
Kelly herself shared with The Telegraph in 2007, as reported by Town and Country, “I love the queen and everything about her. She has allowed me to become closer to her over the years. I would never overstep the mark and I remain in awe of the queen.”
Kelly would continue to rise in the queen’s esteem over the decades, including gaining the coveted title of Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order in 2012 per Vogue, and now it would seem, flatmate as well.