The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as well as Prince Harry, are looking for a PR pro
This job is more Upstairs than Downstairs.
Britain’s next generation of royals—William, Kate and Harry—are hiring a senior communications officer. The job listing calls for a candidate to play a major part in the “development and implementation of the communications strategy for The Royal Foundation,” the organization that the blue-blooded trio use for their philanthropy. Originally posted on LinkedIn two weeks ago, the listing has been viewed over 30,000 times. Fortune reports that more than 1,000 people have put in for a chance to work with Kensington Palace, the seat of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The royals of course, will have a surplus of options to choose from. Britain employed 49,000 communications pros last year according to Statista, while data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that there were 240,700 PR specialists employed at a median salary of $58,020 in the United States in 2014. But working for the House of Windsor is different from just any run-of-the-mill gig. “The Royal Family really value loyalty above all else as their staff see much of their life close up and must never spill the beans,” Kate Williams, a New York Times bestselling author of books about Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, tells Moneyish.
Still, the job isn’t all about Victorian discretion—a successful candidate will also need 21st century skills. “They recognize the tremendous power of social media and [will] want a communications officer who understands how to balance sounding accessible while maintaining privacy,” says Sarika Bose, a lecturer at the University of British Columbia and longtime observer of the Royal Family. Given how this generation of the Britain’s ruling clan has also prioritized being seen as of the people, “they’ll also need this person to be articulate, while not sounding too elite,” she says.
Of course, the British monarchy still has its share of eccentric jobs with weird titles leftover from its long history, though many of them are honorary and come only with a stipend. Here are five:
1. The Royal Harpist—As the Prince of Wales, Charles symbolically represents one of the constituent components of the United Kingdom. Given that the harp is Wales’ national instrument, it’s only apt that the Crown Prince has an official harpist on staff. The position was reportedly canned by Queen Victoria in the mid 19th century, but the tradition-loving Charles revived it in 2000. You’ll have to work gratis – the harpist reportedly gets a $3,900 stipend.
2. Grand Carver of England— Commoners well know that carving your meat during feasts can be a pain. So naturally, the Royal Household has an office dedicated to slicing up the beef stew and steaks. The position is a hereditary one granted to the Earl of Denbeigh, currently the splendidly named 46-year-old Alexander Stephen Rudolph Feilding, who purportedly does this ceremonial duty gratis.
3. Master of the Horse—Since the 14th century, the British monarch has had an individual dedicated to maintaining the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace. The honorary post is currently held by British businessman Samuel Vestey. In practice, the sovereign’s day-to-day transport needs are met by the Crown Equerry. A major perk of the Equerry’s job is a three storey home by the Royal Mews, right in the heart of prime London real estate. In London, the average one bedroom apartment rents for almost $1,500 monthly.
4. Piper to the Sovereign—Whenever the Queen is at one of her main residences in the United Kingdom, it’s tradition for a piper to play under her window at 9 in the morning for fifteen minutes. This is presumably to wake the monarch though the piper, who has an official uniform of grey and red tartan, also plays at certain dining events. This position has traditionally been an appointment filled by a member of United Kingdom’s military, who’s paid a salary commensurate to his rank in the British Armed Forces.
5. Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures—The British royalty’s private art collection is the largest such grouping in the world and there’s someone who curates and maintains the works of art. The surveyor looks after over 10,000 different works and the position is currently occupied by Desmond Shawe-Taylor, an art historian and former gallerist. He presumably gets paid more than $30,000 his assistant is paid. As of 2004, the Surveyor also got to live rent free in a four bedroom flat in one of the royal palaces.
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