Royal work is a different concept from regular, ordinary work undertaken by 99.9999 per cent of the population. While most of us sit at desks, looking at computer screens, members of the royal family run races against Olympic champions, climb mountains and even get behind-the-scenes peeks at film shoots. It may look glamorous but their work is largely done in the full glare of an eagle-eyed press corps, eager to report any gaffe or off-hand comment. In February, a comment by Kate, duchess of Cambridge about her family’s pet hamster led to “Marvin is alive” articles.
Crunching the royal work stats for the former Kate Middleton
In the first three months of 2017, Kate undertook 26 engagements. During those same three months, there were 64 working days in Britain (excluding weekends and holidays), which means Kate worked every 2.5 working day.
Some events were low key, such as her Feb. 22 trip to Caerphilly, Wales. She saw the Family Intervention Team that works with children with behavioural and emotional issues. She went there as patron of the Action for Children charity, a role she’d taken over from Queen Elizabeth II.
Others were super glamorous. A few days earlier, Kate and Prince William dressed up in their finest duds (an off-the-shoulder Alexander McQueen gown for her, a tux for him) and hit the red carpet at the BAFTA awards in London. They were there, mingling with actors, celebrities and film industry executives, because William is president of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Where can you see a Windsor at work?
While many work events take place in public venues, a sizable chunk occur behind the parapets of castles and palaces. Of the 735 engagements that members of the royal family undertook in the first three months of 2017, some 250 were at royal residences.
Some are private audiences with charity executives, diplomats or military personnel. Others are far more public. On Feb. 27, Kate attended an evening reception at Buckingham Palace to mark the U.K.-India Year of Culture. She was part of a strong contingent of royal family members, including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Edward, Princess Eugenie as well as the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Prince Michael of Kent.
How to track royal work habits?
That involves the Court Circular. It’s a list of the previous day’s royal engagements that appears in the Times, Daily Telegraph and Scotsman newspapers. King George III started it in 1803 after getting royally peeved at what he saw as inaccurate reporting of royal affairs by the media. First a compilation of domestic events, it was broadened to include foreign engagements in the 1980s. And it’s now online. Aside from the odd glitch—as of early April, no information on royal work from the second half of February of this year had been loaded onto the royal family’s website, though the information was on the newspaper sites—it is a comprehensive guide to who does what, and when when it comes to royal work.