Royal Staffers Reveal They Must Follow Strict Rule About Where and How to Walk on Buckingham Palace Carpet
We know members of the royal family have a large number of people who work for them from chefs to chauffeurs to maids and butlers. And we figured they probably give each of them a specific set of guidelines to follow daily. But some of those rules are so odd they leave us scratching our heads.
Here’s more on the strict rules staffers must follow including where and how to walk in Buckingham Palace.
How many staffers work at Buckingham Palace?
Queen Elizabeth II‘s London home is massive. It has 828,000 square feet of living space with 775 rooms. These include 19 Staterooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 bedrooms for staffers, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms. That means a lot of people must be employed for its upkeep.
Forbes noted that the monarch has more than 1,000 staff members and around 800 of them work at Buckingham Palace. Jobs include everything from housekeepers to valets to footman to dishwashers. And the pay for most positions is around $20,000 annually. Many staffers live at the palace as well and their rent is deducted from their paycheck.
They must walk in a specific area along the carpet
One strange rule staffers have revealed is that they cannot walk down the center of the rugs inside the palace.
According to the Daily Beast, staff members must walk on the sides of the hallways instead of down the middle of carpets so they won’t wear the threads out or leave unnecessary footprints.
But that’s not the only strange rule when it comes to the carpets inside the residence. There’s also a ban on vacuuming.
In the documentary Royal Servants, former employees explained “cleaners sweep carpets, lest royal ears are offended by vacuum cleaners.”
Other odds rules employees have to follow
There are a number of other rules those who work for the royals have to go by and they are very specific, especially when it comes to their supper.
Like anyone, the queen knows what she likes and dislikes and her chefs know exactly how to cook her food for her. Once dinner is prepared, the monarch’s butlers must also know the proper way to alert her.
In Royal Servants, Paul Kidd, who was a butler from 1975 to 1982, relayed what happened when he did not summon the royal family matriarch correctly.
“I walked into the middle of the room, got the queen’s attention, I bowed my head and said: ‘Your Majesty, your dinner is ready.’” he recalled. “And her face dropped, just seconds, and I thought: ‘Oh, what have I just said.’ Now, I’d told her her dinner was ready, no harm done, but it’s not the done way, it’s: ‘Your Majesty, dinner is served.’”
Kidd added, “[The queen] was slightly irritated, because she had all these people there and the ones in the immediate earshot had heard me and probably thought: ‘Well, I have better staff at home.”