Harriet was the younger daughter of Sir Charles Beaumont Phipps, a courtier and confidant of the Queen, as Keeper of the Privy Purse. Harriet was appointed Maid of Honour in Ordinary to the Queen on 3 March 1862 (giving her the courtesy rank of a baron's daughter), and later served as a Woman of the Bedchamber from 1889 until Victoria's death. She was decorated with the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert, 4th class.
Phipps was used by the Queen to carry out confidential errands, and had access to many secrets, which she faithfully kept. Her papers were destroyed upon her death. Marie Mallet, a fellow lady of the bedchamber, found Phipps, as a messenger of instructions from Victoria, somewhat awe-inspiring, but "gay and excellent company and always warm-hearted".
- "No. 22604". The London Gazette. 4 March 1862. p. 1248.
- Reynolds, K.D. (2004). "Phipps, Sir Charles Beaumont (1801–1866)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
- Mallet, Marie (1968). Life with Queen Victoria: Marie Mallet's Letters from Court 1887-1901. p. 2.
- The Honourable Harriet Lepel Phipps (1841–1922) sketch by John Lavery
- "Judi Dench delivers another royal performance in 'Victoria & Abdul'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 6 October 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2018.