In the 19th-century, the ladies-in-waiting of the Dutch court was headed by the Grootmeesteres 'Grand Mistress', equivalent to Mistress of the Robes , of second rank was the Dames du Palais married ladies-in-waiting , followed by the third rank Hofdames 'court ladies', equivalent to maid of honour. During the late 19th century and the early 20th century, however, most European courts started to reduce their court staff, often due to new economic and political circumstances which made court representation more questionable. The group of ladies-in-waiting were collectively above the rank of the Svetlichnaya , the tsarina's sewing women; the postelnitsy the tsarina's chamber women and washing women and the officials who handled the affairs of the staff. It is short for gungjung yeogwan , which translates as "a lady officer of the royal court". A number of tribes and cultural areas in the African continent, such as the Lobedu people of Southern Africa, had a similar custom on ladies-in-waiting in historic times. Concubinage and Servitude in Late Imperial China.
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