The royal family obviously got a lot of rest over the Christmas holidays, because they returned to work in January recharged and raring to go. According to the official Court Circular, which tracks all official work by the working members of the House of Windsor, the royal family undertook 205 engagements in the first month of 2018. Leading the pack is Princess Anne, who undertook 34 engagements while her older brother, Prince Charles, was close behind with 30 engagements. Rounding out the top 5 are Prince Edward, Prince William and his wife, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.
Breaking down the data by week reveals that while most royals started the New Year slowly (only Anne and Camilla worked in the first week of January), they generally increased their workload as the weeks went by. The major exception is Queen Elizabeth II, who traditionally stays on vacation at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk, until after the anniversary of her accession to the throne on Feb. 6.
Though Prince Harry has received a lot of media attention during his engagements, largely because he’s been accompanied by his fiancée Meghan Markle, he only completed 10 engagements. (As per tradition, Meghan Markle won’t appear in the Court Circular until after she marries Harry in May.)
ROYAL FAMILY WORK: 2017 vs. 2018
Comparing official data from 2018 and 2017 reveals the royal family undertook 64 per cent more work than January of last year. Indeed, every royal but two increased their workload, some dramatically, though, in part, that reflects the small 2017 workload by some royals, which means even small increases in raw numbers of engagements can result in large percentage changes. William and Kate won the “most improved” award, closely followed by the Duchess of Gloucester (wife of the Queen’s cousin).
- William: 425%
- Kate: 425%
- Duchess of Gloucester: 400%
- Edward: 333%
- Duke of Kent: 300%
- Sophie: 140%
- Camilla: 50%
- Harry: 43%
- Elizabeth II: 33%
- Charles: 20%
- Alexandra: 0%
- Anne: -6%
- Duke of Gloucester: -29%
Even after discounting their royal tour of Sweden and Norway, that began at the end of the month, Prince William and Kate completed more than double their workload in January 2017, when they each completed just four engagements. There are two main reasons: William is no longer an air ambulance pilot and the couple is now based in London, instead of on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in rural Norfolk.
The royal family were fast off the blocks in January—the question is whether it can sustain that pace.