Who is the Queen’s loyal aide Angela Kelly?

How the Queen ensured her loyal aide Angela Kelly – a docker’s daughter from Liverpool – would be allowed to stay at her grace-and-favour home near Windsor Castle following the monarch’s death

  • Angela Kelly, 64, remained at her home near Windsor Castle after Queen’s death
  • It seems the Queen gave special authority to remain at grace-and-favour home 
  • Staff would normally have a month’s notice to find different household or job
  • Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral takes place at Westminster Abbey today from 11am 
  • The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage

The Queen‘s stylist, hairdresser and aide Angela Kelly – a docker’s daughter from Liverpool – has been allowed to stay at her grace-and-favour home near Windsor Castle after the monarch’s death. 

Angela Kelly, 64, was a trusted confidante and took on a lady-in-waiting-style role towards the Queen as she worked her way up from Assistant Dresser to becoming indispensable part of the household. 

Queen Elizabeth ensured that her loyal friend would be allowed to stay on in her grace-and-favour home after her death. 

Staff would typically only have one month’s notice before being moved to another Royal household or being told to look for alternative employment after the death of a King or Queen.  

But now it seems that the Queen had given her authority for Ms Kelly to stay near Windsor Castle after her death.

Angela Kelly, a close confidante of the Queen, is set to be allowed to stay on in her grace-and-favour home at Windsor – thanks to the Queen herself. Pictured receiving her RVO in 2012

Angela Kelly, a close confidante of the Queen, is set to be allowed to stay on in her grace-and-favour home at Windsor – thanks to the Queen herself. Pictured receiving her RVO in 2012

So favoured was she by the late Monarch that Ms Kelly was also granted extraordinary permission to secure a three-book deal. Two of those memoirs have been published and another is set to be released.

An insider said: ‘The Queen was very clear that she was close to Angela and wanted to look after her people.’

Ms Kelly who is said to want to spend some time in America now the Queen has died, was originally hired for her fashion expertise. But she soon developed a close bond with the Monarch. 

As the Queen’s mobility failed, Palace sources say that Ms Kelly could often be found sitting with the Queen, making her laugh and filling Her Majesty in on the latest plot twists of television soap operas.

Latterly, as the Queen’s number of public appearances decreased in line with her ability to move around in comfort, it was Ms Kelly who sat with the Queen at Windsor.

One source says: ‘The Prince of Wales came in one day to see his mother and was surprised that Angela had her own rooms there where she would watch the television rather loudly.’

As time went on, Ms Kelly took on more of a lady-in-waiting role, sources say. She would fetch and carry and even advise.

The influence of the down-to-earth Liverpudlian could even be seen in some of the Queen’s public appearances – far beyond what the Monarch chose to wear.

It was Ms Kelly who encouraged the Queen to visit the set of Coronation Street in Manchester when the ITV studio marked its 60th anniversary in July last year.

And what did the Queen choose to wear? An Angela Kelly outfit in a bold teal with a matching hat.

The anecdote was revealed in Ms Kelly’s second memoir, The Other Side Of The Coin.

The trip went ahead with Ms Kelly recalling: ‘She doesn’t watch Coronation Street, but I filled her in.’ She adds: ‘I was thrilled that the Queen chose my outfit and my hat to wear for the event.’

As the Queen's mobility failed, Palace sources say that Ms Kelly could often be found sitting with the Queen, making her laugh and filling Her Majesty in on the latest plot twists of television soap operas. Left to right is Caroline Rush, the Queen, Anna Wintour and Angela Kelly in 2018

As the Queen’s mobility failed, Palace sources say that Ms Kelly could often be found sitting with the Queen, making her laugh and filling Her Majesty in on the latest plot twists of television soap operas. Left to right is Caroline Rush, the Queen, Anna Wintour and Angela Kelly in 2018

When she was chosen to accompany the Queen on the day, Ms Kelly recalled: ‘I was so giddy you’d think I was walking on hot sand.’

The book also tells of how, during lockdown, Ms Kelly and a team of staff formed HMS Bubble – a Covid-free ring around the Queen designed to keep her safe while continuing to look after her comfort.

While the courtiers sacrificed time with their families to avoid catching the virus and passing it on to the Queen, there was also fun to be had during lockdown.

Ms Kelly, who started working in the Royal Household in 1994, reveals that the staff took part in the ‘Bubble Olympics’, a series of activities including a rounders tournament, sprint relay and a game with balloons filled with water. 

To the astonishment of staff, Ms Kelly said the Queen herself emerged one day. After watching out of sight, she came from behind the bushes to award the winners with trophies.

Ms Kelly also shared her insight into the difficult period when the Queen returned to Windsor Castle after Prince Philip’s funeral.

‘I helped her off with her coat and hat and no words were spoken. The Queen then walked to her sitting room, closed the door behind her, and she was alone with her own thoughts,’ Kelly writes of the moments after the funeral in an extract published by Hello! magazine.

Writing on the day the Duke of Edinburgh died, Kelly said the atmosphere among staff staying in Windsor was ‘sombre,’ and that only a few members of staff were told the news, after the members of the royal family were told first.

Ms Kelly also shared her insight into the difficult period when the Queen returned to Windsor Castle after Prince Philip's funeral

Ms Kelly also shared her insight into the difficult period when the Queen returned to Windsor Castle after Prince Philip’s funeral 

On the day of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in Windsor, members of staff were allowed to stand outside the Augusta Tower door, opposite St George’s Hall.

‘The Queen’s dressers, pages, chefs, housemaids, footmen and Castle attendants all stood to attention as The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin was carefully placed onto the Land Rover that he had specially designed for the day,’ Angela recalls.

She added that staff members were visibly grief-stricken and that there thoughts must have been with the Queen as she said goodbye to her husband of 73 years.

Ms Kelly also added that fellow members of staff felt the pain of the valet walking behind the Duke’s coffin during the funeral procession, because it was ‘it was hard to watch our own friends saying goodbye to their amazing boss.’

When the Queen’s health failed, her loyal servant remained by her side.

In lockdown she opened ‘Kelly’s Salon’ – making herself indispensable as the Queen’s hairdresser as well as her dresser and aide.

The reward for such loyalty will now be the promise of a comfortable retirement.

Ms Kelly also added that fellow members of staff felt the pain of the valet walking behind the Duke's coffin during the funeral procession, because it was 'it was hard to watch our own friends saying goodbye to their amazing boss'

Ms Kelly also added that fellow members of staff felt the pain of the valet walking behind the Duke’s coffin during the funeral procession, because it was ‘it was hard to watch our own friends saying goodbye to their amazing boss’ 

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