Who’s never wished of being part of a royal family, living in a castle and having a legion of butlers at their beckon call? A member of a royal family brings to mind images of crowns, jewels, ball gowns, carriages, palaces and castles. But working royals have daily agendas and schedules they must adhere to. These royals actually have work that has to be done and have deadlines that must be met. Working royals cannot sleep in and lounge around the palace gardens all day. At the same time, they also have a staff of servants that cater to their every whim. They never need to get up from their desk to make their own coffee nor walk their dogs first thing in the morning because a member of their staff will get to it. Queen Elisabeth’s corgis are notorious for not being house trained and are known to use the antique carpeting as a toilet. But that should not be of any worry to the royal household because it is the responsibility of the butlers to clean up after their messes. Royal family members are photographed and appear on many magazine covers leading many to believe that their lives are full of fun and excitement. Once we delve deeper into the daily schedule of a working royal, we see that their days are busier and more complicated than previously thought. Despite the long hours and countless daily appointments, do you think you could last as a Royal for a day?
Daily Schedule of a Working Royal
A group of butlers barge into your bedroom early in the morning opening the curtains and drawing you a bath. The chefs are busy in the palace’s kitchen preparing your breakfast. The working royal’s daily life begins early, sometimes even before the sun is up. Although no two days will ever be the same, every day starts early. Your work in front of the public includes attending public events such as going to ceremonies, receptions and visits throughout your Kingdom or even abroad. The other part of your job is the part that is not seen by the public, the real work.
This real work deals with official paperwork and includes reading letters from the public, being briefed on and signing official documents, having audiences with political ministers and ambassadors and having meetings with your Private Secretaries in order to discuss the daily business and future plans. On top of all this, it is your job to be fully briefed on absolutely anything that could be affecting your kingdom. This means you will be receiving letters, reading official documents and signing paperwork every single day of the year. There are no days off as a working Royal. Of course, being sick enables you to receive care from the best physicians but every day remains a working day.
Paying Attention to Every Detail
After you have your bath and eat your breakfast, you will most likely be found working away at your desk where you will be scanning the daily newspapers and reviewing your correspondences. On average, a working royal will receive anywhere from 200 to 300 letters per day. Every letter must be responded either by you or a member of your staff. This is where you can activate your royal title and delegate your responsibilities. You can choose to read and answer a selection of the letters yourself.
Or, you can simply tell the members of your staff how you would like them to respond to the letter on your behalf. Once the daily letters are responded to, you must visit with your Private Secretaries where you will discuss anything dealing with official documents. This can take up to an hour every day because documents sometimes need to be signed and returned.
The Social Aspect
The next part of your morning is more social and involves a series of official meetings known as ‘audiences’. A number of people are able to request audiences with you. These people might be overseas ambassadors, high commissioners, judges, members of the clergy and senior members of the Armed Forces. In these audiences, you will meet with whoever requested a meeting on a one on one basis. These audiences last from 10 to 20 minutes. You may sometimes have to present people with prizes, titles or decorations. This ceremony lasts about an hour, after which you can finally break for lunch. You can either lunch alone, with your loved ones or throw an informal lunch with whoever you want and your private chefs will be happy to cater to whatever form of lunch you decide on.
After your much needed break, you must devote your afternoons to public engagements. Public engagements include visiting organisations or committees, opening events, opening buildings, unveiling plaques, making speeches, visiting schools, hospitals, factories, military units, art galleries and even hostels. On average, you may have to visit over 400 public engagements every year. You have already carefully selected which invitations to accept from the large number sent to you each year with the help of your staff members. Before each visit, you must prepare by being briefed on who you will be meeting, what you will be seeing and why you are there. Public engagements are a way for you to meet people and connect with them on a personal level. It is of course your decision if you want to take any other members of your family with you since you already know that the people you are visiting would not mind. No matter who you decide to travel with, it is guaranteed that you will be travelling in style. You have at your disposal the use of a royal train, helicopter, airplane, carriages and cars. Usually, this decision is made depending on how long the trip will be.
As a royal, you are in high demand and evening is the time to catch up on any other meetings that may have been missed during the day. Afterwards, a summary of the day’s parliamentary proceedings arrives at your door and you must read it on the same day in order to be up to date. This ends the work day portion of the day. The balls most people think of when they think of royalty still do take place. They take place during the evenings after all work related matters are completed. Balls take place either at your own palace for official receptions or you might be invited to a reception elsewhere. If there is no formal evening planned, you may choose to attend one of the other events you have been invited to such as movie premieres, concert performances or a reception linked to an organisation you are a patron of.
As royalty, you will have to get used to having security staff around you all the time, particularly during public outings. But it is not as bad as it may sound. You can coordinate secret signals to signal certain emotions. For example, moving your purse from one hand to the other may signal to your security team that you are bored of talking to someone and that they should come and save you or fidgeting with your watch can signal that you are ready to leave an event. As a member of a royal family, people will have their eyes on you whether they are working for you or not. No matter where you are off to, it is your responsibility to always be ready for a photo. It becomes your responsibility to stay in shape, go to the salon to have perfect hair, have a stylish wardrobe and have your makeup done. The great part is that you have a staff that can help you with all of these tasks. Hair and makeup, personal stylists and personal trainers are only a phone call away. At any given time, a palace has 150 staff members available to grant your requests even if it is as silly as picking up something you have dropped or as serious as providing first aid.
Marrying into a royal family can be less stressful because you might not be required to do any official work. Your work day may consist of attending organisations and committees you volunteer for. The hardest part of your day may be the 5 daily dress changes. You will get to live in a palace and have butlers wait on you. However you may still be required to curtsy to other members of the royal family who were born as royalty. On the plus side, you will be able to enjoy all the hobbies you want and indulge in all the collectibles your heart may desire. Also, your name will be published in all the history books printed in the future and the next generation of students will know all about you. So what do you think? Could you cut it as a Royal for a day?