This Is What It’s Really Like To Work For The Royal Family
Ever so often, a chef reveals what it was like to work for the royal family. It’s how we learned that the queen wasn’t fond of onions or garlic, and it’s also how we know what’s on the menu for their royal festivities. But, there are way more jobs at Kensington Palace than those who work in the kitchen. Ever wonder what it’s like to be able to call Kate Middleton your boss?
The job may sound like a dream, but as expected, it comes with a lot of rules.
The royals are strict with etiquette, and it makes sense that they’d want their employees to act accordingly. Since everyone is in love with the family, they probably have rules in place to prevent people from selling insider stories to gossip magazines — at least while still employed.
Both a royal protection officer and a butler opened up about their time working for the royal family, and they revealed quite a lot. And, they’re not the first — people have leaked information that might have been best kept under wraps.
Now, you probably realize you can’t land a job working for the royal family fresh out of college, but it turns out the process is a lot harder than anyone may have imagined.
Here are all the things you need to know about the royal family application process.
1. Applicants Need Experience
And they need a lot of it.
Turns out that in order to apply for a job protecting the royals, you’ll need at least 10 to 15 years as an active police officer. And that’s outside of other jobs.
It makes sense that the royals want to find the best person for such an important job.
When their safety is on the line, having someone who just graduated from the police academy fill the role could lead to an epic mistake.
2. Those Who Are Chosen Still Need To Pass Extra Courses
You have to be good in person and on paper. Then, you need to prove you’re going to succeed at a job like this.
“If you pass the interview, you’ll then attend a two-day selection course whereby you’re tested to see if you have the mindset to be a protection officer. They give you the day from hell and assess you on how you react to it,” Simon Morgan, past Royal Protection Officer, said to Town & Country.
3. You’ll Need To Learn How To Interact With The Royals
Obviously, those with a potty mouth need not apply.
Grant Harrold, a past butler to Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, noted that his introduction course included the proper ways to speak to the royal family. Those who work with royalty need to brush up on their etiquette.
That means that some people might need some time to fully adjust.
Harrold actually turned his stint as a royal butler into a long-lasting career and often teaches proper etiquette to others who want to learn.
4. Not All Positions Pay A Lot
You should always earn a paycheck for your work, but some positions are more about clout than cash.
According to BabyGaga, there are plenty of open jobs for the royal fam that come with a somewhat petty salary. There are jobs like a 20-hour per week position polishing vases for which the right person could earn just a little over 10k a year. You definitely can’t survive on a paycheck like that alone, but at least it’s a way to feel important.
5. You May Be Expected To Do More Than What Your Job Requires
For example, if you’re a nanny, you should also like dogs.
Mabel Anderson was one of the best known royal nannies, and she actually became a part of the family. Not only was she seen going on family walks with the dogs, but she also attended every event that was important to the Prince of Wales — and she held the position for 32 years. So, much of her life was entangled with the family, and she took on more roles than she may have initially thought she would.
6. Communication Skills Are A Must
Can you imagine what a blunder it’d be if you cooked the wrong foods for an event due to miscommunication?
The royal family has plenty of staff members and multiple projects happening at once. They’re looking for people who can speak clearly and follow etiquette. Eye contact is always a great way to boost your communication and be more present.
If you anger easily or tend to go silent when you’re upset, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t be a great fit.
Simon Morgan also thinks it’s important, telling Town & Country that “a royal protection officer needs to be able to walk and talk at the same time.”
7. You Have To Be Trustworthy
There’s a ton of interest in the royal family, and they know that a bad candidate would want to cash in.
That means they’ll expect you not to sell photos or gossip to tabloids about your experience while you’re still employed. It may be tempting, but those who have earned a sense of trust with the royal family are usually at the job much longer. Just because they’re famous doesn’t mean they deserve to be gossiped about outside of the palace.
8. Employees Reportedly Can’t Walk Down The Middle Of The Hallway
If you’ve ever had a rug, you might know why.
According to The Daily Beast, staff members need to stick to the sides when they walk in order to help preserve the carpet. That’s understandable — recarpeting a palace seems like a pretty crazy task that even Queen Elizabeth II would want to avoid. They’re also not allowed to vacuum past a certain time — it’ll wake people up.
9. They Can Live There, But They Can’t Bring Their Dogs
Out of all the rules, this one’s the biggest bummer.
Supposedly this rule only changed in 2018. Prior to, staff members were allowed to work with their dog by their side.
So, why did it change?
Reportedly, both security and hygiene were reasons why this fun tradition seemed to end. Who knows — it could always make a comeback someday.
10. The Hours Are Sometimes Irregular
Much like the vase-polishing job, many of the job openings have minimal hours.
And that’s okay — but since you’d be living in a small space in Buckingham Palace, it still could be difficult to make ends meet with one part-time paycheck. Since you’re on the premises, you’re literally living at your workplace. It seems glamorous at first, but it means they’ll always know where to find you.
11. Candidates Are Carefully Selected To Make Sure They’re A Good Fit
Philippa Smith, who recruits candidates for these jobs, once said that finding someone good was like finding a “needle in a haystack.” Sometimes, the search can take months.
Smith chatted with Insider and dished about the whole process. “Every role in every house is different and each household has very different dynamics within the family and within the team of staff,” she said. “It is therefore important that we spend time with our clients to understand their home, their family and their requirements and to spend time with our candidates to get to know their personalities as well as their previous experiences and skill sets.”
12. Employees Can’t Talk About Their Job On Social Media
In fact, it has to be a big secret to everyone.
“Nothing whatsoever about their role, the family, the location or any other details can be posted online,” Smith said.
Can you imagine how tough that might be, especially since you’re living there?
That means that you may need to think up creative lies to tell your family if you don’t want to break your non-disclosure agreement.
13. But, You Might Not Even See Your Family
In fact, employees have left the job before since they actually wanted a life of their own.
Prince William and Kate Middleton once lost a housekeeper named Sadie Rice who was working for reportedly around $45,000 per year. They said it was due to excessive demands, but those demands were mostly just her asking the royal couple if she could spend more time with her actual family. If you have an active social life, you probably won’t want to apply for a job like this.
14. You’ll Be Invited To Special Events
There are definitely perks to working for the royal family.
For one, they sometimes offer movie screenings for loyal employees. Sure, you’ll only be seeing a film a few days before the rest of the world, but it’s still a pretty cool privilege. Sometimes, employees even get invited to holiday parties, which means you’ll always have an excuse to skip the tense family party back at home.
15. You’ll Reportedly Have Access To Luxuries Like A Swimming Pool And Tennis Court
It’s even better than having your employer pay off part of your gym membership.
Of course, it’s luxuries like this that probably help persuade employees to take meager pay for long hours.
These perks were just unveiled in the book Behind the Throne: A Domestic History of the British Royal Household, written by historian Adrian Tinniswood. You probably won’t be doing laps with Queen Elizabeth II, but it’s the closest you’ll get to it.
16. You Have To Keep Your Hands Off Of The Family
Not like you’d want to touch your boss, but this situation is a little different.
In general, it’s good practice to keep your hands to yourself. But when working for the royal family, it’s a must.
KiwiReport writes that it’s outside of etiquette to even put your hand on a family member.
This may be something that changes if you have an especially close relationship with them, but in general, the best candidate will keep their distance.