We see them at fancy events. And gracing the covers of magazines. But really — what do the members of the Royal Family actually do every day? You will be surprised to learn that the most familiar faces in the monarchy actually have very full schedules. (That’s right, Queen Elizabeth does more than just walk her corgis every day.)
Queen Elizabeth’s morning letters
The Birmingham Mail tells us that the Queen starts off each day reading the paper and answering letters from the public. Her Majesty reportedly receives upwards of 300 letters a day, and tries to answer many of them herself. Whatever she can’t answer herself gets passed on to members of her staff.
Next: And the letters aren’t the half of it.
All the Queen’s ‘engagements’
Her Majesty has a very full calendar consisting of both political and social events, given the colloquial term “engagements.” This ranges from opening new sessions of Parliament to hosting parties and giving out awards. Although she often eats lunch privately, she often ends up hosting heads of state for luncheons alongside her husband, Prince Philip. According to the Telegraph, the Queen carried out more engagements in 2015 than Prince William, Prince Harry, and Kate Middleton combined.
Next: Since we mentioned Prince William …
Prince William’s royal duties
Until just a couple years ago, the Duke of Cambridge was an air ambulance pilot. But he has taken on more royal duties, especially since his grandfather, Prince Philip, retired. Prince William functions as the Queen’s representative on meetings and trips, and is responsible for helping to maintain foreign relations. In recent years, William has also devoted more time to growing his family, including taking Prince George to school.
Next: And then there’s the Duchess.
Kate Middleton’s official duties
Even the Duchess of Cambridge has duties to fulfill as part of the Royal Family. A big part of her day is spent attending briefings with her personal secretary and advisers to keep her up to date on public, political, and cultural affairs. This helps the Duchess stay in the know about people and events since she attends many events as a representative of the family. (Well, the Royal Family. She and William also function as non-royal parents for their children.)
Next: So what about the other heirs to the throne?
Prince Charles represents the Queen
Like other well-known members of the family, the Prince of Wales’ main duties include representing the Queen when she cannot be present. Charles is responsible for many international tours on the Queen’s behalf to help maintain foreign relations. His wife, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, travels with him as support. (More on her role a bit later.)
Next: And that’s not all Charles does.
Prince Charles’ role in the Armed Forces
The heir to the throne has always been a staunch supporter of the British Armed Forces, and remained close to this branch even after ending five years of service in the Royal Navy. Prince Charles currently holds the ranks of Admiral of the Fleet in the Royal Navy, Field Marshal in the Army and Marshal of the Royal Air Force.
Next: What about Charles’ youngest son, Harry?
Prince Harry’s day-to-day philanthropy
Previously, Prince Harry spent 10 years serving in the Armed Forces. Now, he represents the Queen and engages in a plethora of charitable endeavors. In addition to work he does with his brother William, Harry has set up many charitable organizations overseas, including the creation of his Paralympics event, the Invictus Games.
Next: Don’t forget about the Queen’s main squeeze!
Prince Philip, charities
While he may be retired from many of his royal duties, Prince Philip is still incredibly active. The 96-year-old Duke of Edinburgh is reportedly president or patron to some 800 organizations, and his schedule mainly consists of attending engagements for these outlets. Of course, this is in addition to being husband and consort to Queen Elizabeth.
Next: So, back to all of Queen Elizabeth’s daily duties …
Queen Elizabeth’s many public appearances
All that letter-writing and informal lunching? That’s just what the Queen does in the first part of her day! Her Majesty makes a handful of public appearances throughout her day. Often times, she stays in one city an afternoon to attend as many events as possible.
Next: She isn’t the only lady making many public appearances.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s public appearances
After spending the morning being briefed on current events, Kate Middleton makes many public appearances and talks to many different organizations. She and her husband, Prince William, give to many different organizations, with her focus being mostly on the mental and emotional well-being of children in need. Kate notably had to skip out of a couple public appearances due to morning sickness, which prompted the family to reveal that she is pregnant with her third child.
Next: Back to Prince William for a second …
All of Prince William’s charities
Prince William’s charity work is quite expansive, covering areas such as environmental conservation, youth outreach, and support of the Armed Forces. He and his brother, Prince Harry, started a main vehicle for all of their charity work called the Royal Foundation, which Kate Middleton joined after marrying Will in 2011. It has since been renamed The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
Next: Charitable work is a family business.
Camilla’s support of Charles
Yes, the Duchess of Cornwall is pigeon-holed for being Prince Charles’ long-time mistress and the antithesis of Princess Diana. But she has long carried out many duties for the monarchy. As Charles’ wife, she supports him at all international endeavors that support Queen Elizabeth. In addition, she also gives to a variety of charities.
Next: And you thought the Queen’s day was done …
What the Queen hosts on special occasions
Queen Elizabeth also has a heavy social agenda that spans into the evening. These include dinners for visiting dignitaries, as well as weekend garden parties and the regular birthday and anniversary celebrations.
Next: Heck, there’s a whole block of the year devoted to royal functions!
The Royal Family’s social season
Among all the individual social to-dos that the royals take part in, there are also annual festivities that they take part in. This includes events such as the Chelsea Flower Show, among other spring and summer events. (And yes, big hats are a must.)
Next: But heck — even the longest-standing events don’t always get attended.
When gatherings get snubbed
Family get-togethers are, of course, a big deal for the Royal Family. But even the most long-standing traditions can be broken. Like one where the whole family gets together at Buckingham Palace for Christmas. The Queen’s grandson and second heir, Prince William, broke tradition a couple years back when he and his wife Kate decided to decline the Christmas invite to have a small, private celebration with their in-laws and kids.
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