Queen Elizabeth’s friendship group: A guide to who’s who in the British Monarch’s inner circle

Marissa DeSantis
Getty Images

Given her royal title and status as the longest-serving female head of state in the world, Queen Elizabeth can seem hard to relate to.

But her lofty position as British monarch aside, the Queen knows that having close confidantes is just as important as selecting the right tiara or matching your umbrella to your outfit.

n addition to her beloved canine companions, HRH’s inner circle includes some long-standing friendships with humans, too.

From dressmakers to fellow royals, here's a guide to the Queen's inner circle.

Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma

Queen Elizabeth with Lady Mountbatten at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2018 (David Hartley/Shutterstock)

Known informally as Penny, Lady Mountbatten, 66, officially joined the extended Royal Family when she married Norton Knatchbull, 3rd Earl of Mountbatten in 1979.

Lady Mountbatten’s husband attended the prestigious Gordonstoun School with the Queen’s son, Prince Charles, who served as best man at their wedding ceremony and later walked the couple’s daughter, Lady Alexandra Knatchbull, down the aisle at her wedding in 2016.

It is said that Lady Mountbatten particularly impressed Queen Elizabeth following her husband Norton's affair in 2010.

When the Earl announced he was leaving to reside in the Bahamas (he would later return in 2014), Lady Mountbatten, who is the founder of the Edwina Mountbatten and Leonora Children's Foundation, as well as the patron of various other charitable organizations, took over the couple’s estate instead and carried on with Royal duties.

Establishing a firm friendship with the Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, Lady Mountbatten can be spotted attending Royal Ascot and the Royal Windsor Horse Show alongside the Queen today.

Lady Celia Vestey

Lady Celia Vestey attends Ascot in 1999 (Alan Davidson/Shutterstock)

Lady Celia Vestey is another longtime friend of the Royal Family and Queen Elizabeth.

She married Lord Samuel Vestey in 1981, who served as Master of the Horse to the Royal Household, and she is an avid horse lover just like the Queen.

Following the birth of Prince Harry in 1984, Lady Celia was named as godparent alongside Prince Andrew. Her oldest son, William Guy Vestey, was a Page of Honour to the Queen from age twelve to fifteen.

Angela Kelly

Caroline Rush, Queen Elizabeth, Anna Wintour and Angela Kelly attend the 2018 Richard Quinn London Fashion Week show (Getty Images)

Angela Kelly has served as the Queen’s personal advisor, curator and senior dresser since 2002, but she got her start as an assistant dresser in 1994.

Over the years, Kelly’s responsibilities have grown to include arranging for and designing the Queen’s clothing, jewelry and insignia, which requires conducting research ahead of royal visits to create the most appropriate outfits with the correct colors.

She’s the woman behind some of HRH’s most iconic looks, like the pale yellow outfit Queen Elizabeth wore to William and Kate’s 2011 wedding and her mint green ensemble for the Diamond Jubilee celebration in 2012.

The Queen attends Prince William and Kate Middleton's 2011 Royal Wedding in a design by Angela Kelly (Getty Images)

But more than that, the 62-year-old has become a trusted friend of the Queen’s. Not only does Kelly see the Queen daily, but she also accompanies her on trips abroad and to events like London Fashion Week - she even lives on the grounds of Windsor Castle.

In 2012, Kelly published an inside account of her work, The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe, which the Queen authorized.

Of her relationship with the Queen, Kelly told The Telegraph, “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. We are two typical women," she added. "We discuss clothes, makeup, jewelry. We say, 'Would this piece of jewelry look nice with that outfit?'”

Princess Sarvath El Hassan

Queen Elizabeth and Princess Sarvath El Hassan of Jordan attend the Royal Ascot in 2013 (Getty Images)

Who better to understand the Queen than a fellow royal?

Princess Sarvath El Hassan has been a member of the Jordanian royal family since she married Prince Hassan bin Talal in 1968.

The 72-year-old even served as the Crown Princess of Jordan from 1968 to 1999 and still represents the country at international royal events.

Given that Princess Saravath has spent over 50 years as a royal herself, her relationship with the Queen is long-established.

In 2013, she rode in the Queen’s carriage at Royal Ascot, and she and her husband have hosted the Queen and Prince Philip at their English residence in Wimbledon.