The Royal’s have a wealth of staff and people who manage every aspect of their day but there are some rather surprising roles. Some jobs you just can’t put a title too and some titles you cannot believe are actual jobs.
If you get a job working for the Royal Household you’ll be surrounded by beautiful historical scenery but you might not expect the kind of work you are asked to do.
For example did you know that its someone’s job to ensure the Queen never gets a blister? Have a read of some of the weird and wonderful jobs you can get working for the royals, do any of them appeal to you?
1. Astronomer Royal
Fancy yourself as a bit of a stargazer? You’ll need more than just an interest in astronomy to be the astronomer royal. This is the most prestigious post you can attain in the astronomy field and there has been an impressive list of predecessors. The post was created by King Charles II in 1675 when he founded the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. As astronomer royal you are expected to advise the Queen on all astronomical matters and you become part of the Royal Households. You will receive £100 a year for your work so it’s not the most practical full-time career change.
2. Piper to the Sovereign
You’ll need some musical talent if you want the post of Piper to the sovereign. It is their responsibility to play every weekday at 9am for around 15 minutes under Her Majesty’s window when she is in residence at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Balmoral Castle or the Palace Holyrioodhouse. There is not enough accommodation at Sandringham for the Piper to play there. The first Monarch to have a Royal Piper was Queen Victoria. Following a visit to Scotland in 1842 the Queen was apparently keen to have her own personal piper for her own enjoyment. The Queen’s Piper is also responsible for coordinating the twelve army pipers that play around the table after a banquet.
3. Keeper of the Queen’s Stamps
The Queen’s stamp collection is thought to be on of the world’s most comprehensive collections of postage stamps of Great Britain and the Commonwealth. The collection is kept at St. James’s Palace in London. Michael Sefi has been the Queen’s stamp keeper and collector since 2003. He travels around the world adding to the collection and accompanying it on exhibitions.
4. The Royal Shoe-Wearer
There is nothing worse than wearing a new pair of shoes for the first time and ending the day with your feet covered in blisters. The Queen doesn’t have this problem because all her shoes are worn in before she sets foot in them. The Royal Shoe-Wearer needs a tough set of tootsies because it is your job to make sure the Queen never suffers. Lets face it, if we could all offload this duty to someone, we would!
5. Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures
As Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures you are in charge of one of the largest art collections in the world which is held in trust by the Queen. The surveyor has curatorial responsibility for over 7,000 oil paintings. The Royal Collection of artwork is on display in all of the main royal residences.
6. Warden of the Swans and Marker of the Swans
These are two separate roles but both work closely together. The warden and marker are responsible for conducting an annual census of swans on the Thames, this is called Sawn Upping. The census takes five days to complete and an official report is written by the Swam Marker which helps suitable conservation methods to be applied. Schools are often invited to witness the Upping as a way of encouraging education and understanding.
7. The Queen’s Flag Sergeant
This is a relatively easy role to get your head around. The Queen’s Flag Sergeant is responsible for raising and lowering the Union Flag. Since 1997 the flag is raised when the Queen is in residence and lowered when she is not. There was an outburst of public outrage following Princess Diana’s death because the flag was not flown at half mast. Since then the official policy is to fly the flag when the Queen is in residence and at half mast for the death of Royal Family members or during a period of national mourning.
8. Official Harpist to the Prince of Wales
This role as official harpist dates back to a few centuries but it was discontinued during the reign of Queen Victoria. The post was reinstated in 2000 to celebrate and foster musical talent in Wales and to raise awareness of the harp as an instrument. The role traditionally runs for a a two-year period and there is an option to extend this. The official harpist is not paid but they do receive expenses.
9. The Grand Carver
Deciding who gets to carve the Sunday roast can be tricky in some households but in the royal residence’s this role is left to the Grand Carver. The Carver has to cut the roast meat for special occasions and must get the meat to be completely uniform in size and thickness. This is a hereditary role so unfortunately if its not in your genes, you won’t be carving the Queen’s chicken.
10. The Royal Horological Conservator
The royals are not so keen on digital clocks, barometers or thermometers so someone has to ensure they are all working correctly. It goes without saying that time management is essential for the role as well as an outstanding knowledge of the measurement of time and how clocks work. We don’t think switching it on an off will work on the royal clocks…