What do members of the Royal Family actually do? We've all hear the vague references to "royal duties," but what does that phrase actually mean? Have you ever stopped to think about what Royals do every day in their life filled with palaces, servants, and strange rituals? Most of the famous members of royalty don't actually have jobs. They get their money from a special allowance provided by the Government (i.e., the people of Britain). While sitting around and doing nothing all day might seem like a dream to some of us, it quickly gets old. The majority of royal family members have found things to occupy their time.
Some of these things are pretty predictable, but others will surprise you. There's a lot of mystery and depth to the traditions and activities of the royal family, and although some of us might assume that royal duties don't take much effort, that just isn't true. There are rumors that these constant royal duties are simply too much for Princess Catherine and certain others to handle. But the Queen is very demanding that others take on these duties, especially in her advanced age. So, what do Royals get up to each day? Read on to find out...
15 They Have To Make Time To Do Charitable Work
One of the many things each and every Royal Family member is expected to be heavily involved with is charity. The Royal Family has been heavily involved in all sorts of different charities and has established many themselves.
You don't need to be the Queen to get involved with this, and this is probably one of the most common activities for every Royal Family member.
Prince Harry is famously involved with charities. The above picture was taken from a charity event aimed at helping adolescents with HIV/AIDS. But he's also established something called the Invictus Games, an event for military veterans which also functions as a charity. The Queen, Prince Charles, and Prince William are also heavily involved with charity work, and that's probably the most common activity for them to be doing during each day.
14 Princess Eugenie Is An Associate Art Director At An Art Gallery
Of course, not all Royal Family members have to concern themselves with days filled with the ever ambiguous "royal duties," and many of these "less burdened" Royal Family members are also slightly lesser known.
It's no coincidence that these lesser-known royal family members are more likely to have, dare we say it, real jobs.
One example is Princess Eugenie, someone who is way down the ladder in terms of her chances of inheriting the throne.
Eugenie has done some impressive things with her life, and she actually holds a day job just like the rest of us. She is an assistant art director at a popular Art Gallery, and studied Art History in University, meaning she is more than qualified for the job. It's no coincidence that she receives no allowance from the "Privvy Purse," and has to actually provide for herself. This is a stark contrast to other members of the Royal Family, who are given an allowance by the British Government.
13 Princess Beatrice Is A "Full-Time Businesswoman"
Another very interesting member of the Royal Family who is actually likely to be doing things each day that you can actually relate to is Princess Beatrice. This Princess is the elder daughter of the aforementioned Princess Eugenie, and as such, she is seventh in line to inherit the throne.
But although she is closely related to the higher up royals, she is also fairly distanced from them, at least when it comes to her day to day activities.
Like her sister, she receives no allowance. This means that she has to fend for herself, in a manner of speaking. She has a university education and studied history, but she also got an "A" in drama during her earlier school years. This might have something to do with the fact that she's the only member of the royal family to have a role in a film, and this was The Young Victoria, a film based on the life of Beatrice's ancestor. Today, she is heavily involved in business, although the nature of the business is a closely guarded secret.
12 Prince Michael And His Wife Also Have Real Jobs
One of the most intriguing members of the royal family is undoubtedly Prince Micheal. This royal family member is only 45th in line to inherit the throne, but he's one of the most active members of the royal family. An interesting fact about this Prince is that he's very closely related to Russian royalty. As such, he has a keen interest in Russia, speaks Russian, and has visited Russia many times.
In order to supply his wealth, he has established his own consultancy business. He can also work as a qualified Russian interpreter if he wishes, but he makes far more money through his business, which has quite a few dealings in Russia.
He is also an active Freemason. His wife, Baroness Marie Christine Von Reibnitz, is also very independent, having written many books about the Royal Family.
11 Taking Care Of The Corgis
Any fan of the royal family knows that was only ever one breed of dog that piqued the queen's interest - Corgi. These dogs are the queen's most beloved animals, and she has an entire pack of them to keep her company around her palace grounds. She cares for them immensely, and she often personally takes them out on walks. Being pure breed animals, however, they don't seem to live very long.
As a result, she's constantly adding new Corgis to her "pack," and it becomes a never-ending cycle of dog breeding, raising, and eventual retirement of said dogs. There is often talk about Queen limiting herself to fewer Corgis because of the amount of work it takes to care for them, but she always seems to inevitably dedicate the same amount of time to these beloved pets.
10 Flying Around The World On Royal Tours
And of course, one of the things the Royal Family is constantly doing is traveling. They're almost in a perpetual state of vacation, which makes sense because they don't really have a job to go home to.
These trips all across the globe are called "Royal Tours," and they've taken up a huge amount of the Royal Family's time for many, many years.
And chances are, they've visited your home country at some point, wherever you are in the world.
These trips are hardly all play and no work, however. Meetings with prominent world leaders, religious officials, and even celebrities are all par for the course during these Royal Tours. Favorite locations for the Royal Family include ex British colonies, such as Australia and Canada. And this is by far the most common royal duty that a wide range of Royal Family members partake in, not just the queen.
9 Kate Loves Photography
So what do Royal Family members do on their free time, when they're not engaged with Royal Duties? Well, just like the rest of us, many of these individuals have hobbies and passions. And since they don't have jobs to take up their time, their hobbies are allowed to take up huge amounts of their time, and after hours of dedication, these royal family members take their passions to the next level.
One member of the Royal Family that really dedicates herself to her hobby is Princess Catherine, and that hobby is photography. She is actually really quite good at it, and most of the pictures in news articles about her family life, particularly her children, are taken by the Princess herself. This is definitely one way Kate likes to unwind with all the royal duties she's been undertaking.
8 Prince Charles Loves To Paint
Another royal family member with a strong passion for the arts is Prince Charles. This blue blood is famous for his love of painting. His strength is in watercolors, and he's been painting for many years. Not many people know about this hobby, and when you see some of his work, the quality is actually quite shocking - in a good way. Here's a picture of Prince Charles in his element.
If you can believe it, Prince Charles' paintings are worth millions of pounds.
And that's not just because they have a famous name attached to them. One art collector didn't even know who had painted these wonderful pictures until he started to do more research. In the end, Charles was persuaded to auction some of his pieces and donate the proceeds to charity.
7 They Take Members Of Parliament Hostage
Okay, so this doesn't happen every single day, but it definitely falls into the category of weird things that the Royal Family might be doing on any given day. Yes, the royal family sometimes takes British Members of Parliament hostage. This happens during an elaborate ceremony that happens once a year in the British government called the "State Opening Of Parliament." Since the Queen is the current reigning monarch and informally the head of the nation, it's her responsibility to open Parliament each year.
This is where it gets a little weird. There are numerous symbolic rituals that must be undertaken before the Queen can open parliament. First off, the "searching of the cellars" must take place. This is undertaken by a Yeomen Of The Guard (a member of the queen's bodyguard), and the cellars being searched are the ones below Westminster Palace (where the British Parliament meet). This is to prevent any repeat of the famous gunpowder plot of 1605. A few other rituals take place, but the most notable is the delivery of a British MP to Buckingham Palace to serve as a hostage for the Royal Family. This practice dates back to a time when the Royal Family was very distrusting of the government, and it ensures that no harm comes to the Monarch while they're at the house of Parliament.
6 Looking After Their Birds AKA "Military Ravens"
Definitely one of the strangest traditions to ever surround the Royal Family, and something that they devote a surprising amount of effort towards, is their beloved "Ravens of The Tower." The Royal Family sees it as incredibly important that at least 6 Ravens live in the Tower of London at all times. Why?
It all has to do with a strange prophecy made hundreds of years ago, during the time of King Charles II in 1666, directly after the Great Fire of London.
As the story goes, John Flamsteed (the Royal Astronomer) warned King Charles II that if he killed the Ravens, his tower would fall and his kingdom would be lost. King Charles, taking the words of this pseudo-scientific intellectual quite seriously, immediately ordered that at least 6 Ravens be kept in the tower at all times. The tradition has remained ever since, for almost 400 years. These birds are anything but ordinary. They are technically enlisted soldiers of Britain, and are expected to undertake oaths and are given attestation cards identical to police officers and other soldiers. They can also be dismissed for unsatisfactory or dishonorable conduct. Who takes care of these birds? Well, it's actually not the Royal Family themselves. They actually hire a specialized Yeoman Warden to care for them. But the Royal Family definitely takes an interest in them.
5 Knighting People Is Part Of Their Daily Routine
Another important duty of the royal family is of course knighting people. This is generally seen as a great honor in Britain, and most people rush at the chance of getting knighted. Notable recipients of Knighthood in the past include Sir Elton John, Sir Bobby Charlton, and Sir Sean Connery. There is a great deal of ritual and pomp that accompanies each knighting ceremony.
Many members of the royal family have taken on the duty of awarding knighthoods. We've all seen it in the movies before.
The Royal family member takes a sword, taps both shoulders, and pronounces the person a knight. They then have them rise, with their new title. The Queen has started to dial back her knighthoods, amidst concerns that she was handing out a few too many. These days, you're just as likely to be knighted by Prince William or Prince Charles as you are by the Queen.
4 Giving People Awards
Knighthoods aren't the only honors that can be bestowed upon common folk by the Royal Family. There are also regular awards that can be awarded by the Queen or another Royal Family member, and these are more common than knighthoods. In the past, people have been given awards for a variety of different things, such as raising a significant amount of money for cancer awareness, for example.
The most prestigious award in British history is the Order of the Garter. The legend surrounding this award is quite interesting. As the story goes, someone called the "Countess of Salisbury" was dancing in a royal hall when her garter slipped from her leg. As all the courtiers snickered, the king supposedly picked it up and "awarded" it to her, proclaiming "Shame on him who thinks ill of it!" This phrase later became the motto for the award.
3 They're Quite Involved With The Military As Well
The royal family also has a long history of involvement with the military. Since the royal family is banned from any involvement with politics, this is the only real arm of the British organizational hierarchy that they are allowed to even interact with. And for hundreds of years, they have maintained a keen interest in the goings-on of the British military.
Many Regiments are named with royal references, and of course, most ships in the British Navy have the prefix "HMS," which stands for "Her Majesty's Ship."
So in any given day, it's safe to say that some member of the royal family somewhere is doing something which involves the military in some way. Many members of the royal family have even served in the military long-term. These members include Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry, and even The Queen herself for a short time during WW2. She trained as a military mechanic and truck driver and is the only female member of the royal family ever to enter the armed forces.
2 Involvement In The Church
One of the many official titles of the Queen is 'Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England'. This means that she is very involved with the Church Of England, as technically she is the head of this religion. This all started way back when the British Monarchy rejected Catholicism hundreds of years ago, and established their own church.
One of the Queen's most important duties is to choose new Bishops and Arch-Bishops on with the Prime Minister's advice, and she's actually taken an oath to "maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England". So on any given day, the Queen might very well be doing something that involves the Church Of England.
1 There Is A Strong Horse Riding Tradition In The Royal Family
There is also a strong athletic tradition within the royal family. Various members of the royal family have competed in the Olympics and other athletic events. Some royals have held positions on the bobsleigh team among other sports, but the most popular type of sport for royals is probably horse riding, or Equestrian events. This is particularly true when it comes to the daughter and granddaughter of the Queen.
The only daughter of the queen is Princess Anne, and when she was much younger she held the honor of being the first member of the Royal Family to compete in the Olympic games. In her career, she has won gold and silver medals in European Equestrians Championships. Princess Anne's daughter followed in her mother's footsteps, becoming a professional athlete and winning the silver medal in the 2012 Olympics in an Equestrian event.