The hardest working royal revealed—and Prince William and Kate Middleton didn’t make the top three

The hardest working royal undertook a staggering 179 engagements last year...

The Royal Family at Trooping the Colour
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The hardest working royal of last year has been revealed and whilst some fans might’ve expected Prince William or Kate Middleton to secure the top spot, neither of them even made the top three.  

Throughout each year everyone from the monarch herself, to the Queen’s children and extended Royal Family members undertake huge numbers of significant engagements, from visiting schools and organizations to attending premieres. But whilst it’s easy to assume the most prominent royals are those working the hardest, it seems this isn’t always the case. Since the Queen sprained her back in 2021, her eldest son Prince Charles, Duchess Camilla and Prince William and Duchess Kate were observed taking on even more responsibilities. 

This included Prince William and Kate stepping in for the Queen at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow and Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla’s overseas trip to Kate Middleton’s former childhood home. Though despite their efforts, according to new research from, it was another less focused-upon royal who took the top spot as the hardest working royal of last year. 

Princess Anne, Princess Royal attends the Sovereigns Parade at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

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Analysing each royal's total number of engagements and days of work recorded on the Court Circular, it emerged that it’s Princess Anne who undertook the most engagements in 2021. With a total number of working days of 170 and 179 engagements, her most popular place for engagements was St James’s Palace.

This might not come as much of a surprise to long-time royal fans, with the Princess Royal also awarded the coveted ‘hardest working royal’ title for 2020. Following on from his younger sister in second place is Prince Charles, who is first in the royal line of succession and reportedly set to make major changes when he becomes king. Last year he clocked up 160 engagements across 153 working days, with July proving to be his busiest month. 

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales the President of the Royal College of Music speaks during the official opening of the new Royal College of Music

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The Queen herself followed her two children and despite pulling out of a trip on “medical advice”, as well missing several prominent occasions such as the Remembrance Sunday service, she still carried out 151 engagements, most frequently held at Windsor Castle. Coming in fourth behind Her Majesty was her youngest son Prince Edward with 121 engagements overall and 119 working days. 

Prince William is the fifth most hardworking royal of 2021 according to the research, coming behind his aunt, father, grandmother and uncle. The future king had a total of 110 engagements and 106 working days and although this is still impressive, given his popularity with fans and how often he’s observed undertaking visits, this still-inspiring ranking is perhaps rather surprising.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (L) and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (R) speak with guests at a reception for the key members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative

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So is Kate Middleton’s position as the eighth most hardworking royal of last year, where she carried out 65 engagements over 63 days. Though this might sound less than others, the Duchess of Cambridge carried out these major events and visits as well as balancing her family life as a proud mom-of-three. And the impact she made and the warmth she brought to her engagements made these 63 some of the most memorable.

Who knows whether Princess Anne will continue to carry out the most royal engagements in 2022 or if one of her fellow royals could take her top spot after so many years? 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with seven years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.