A present from Queen Charlotte given to Ann Dundas, Viscountess Melville, The Viscountess was Queen Charlotte’s Lady of the Bedchamber from 1813 until the Queen’s death in 1818. London.
The rare gold mounted George III miniature Almanack is bound in red Morocco leather with a manuscript note ‘Given to me by the Queen on Xmas day 1818 Windsor Melville‘ and with a card in the interior pocket: ‘That every Day contained in this very small compass may prove happy to dear Ldy Melville the Sincere wish of her true Friend. Charlotte.’
Lady of the Bedchamber is the prestigious title of a lady-in-waiting holding the official position of personal attendant on a British queen regnant or queen consort. A lady of the bedchamber would give instructions to the women of the bedchamber on what their queen wished them to do, or may carry out those duties herself. The Viscountess would have been extremely close to the queen and the position was widely considered influential, a royal favourite.
The equivalent title and office has historically been used in most European royal courts (Dutch: Dames du Palais; French: Dames or Dame de Palais; German: Hofstaatsdame or Palastdame; Italian: Dame di Corte; Russian: Hofdame or Statsdame; Spanish: Dueña de honour; Swedish: Statsfru).