Kate Middleton’s facial expression above is exactly the face I made when I heard the salary she’s offering for the new assistant to the Assistant Private Secretary.
The future Queen of England is on the hunt for a new royal aide to accompany her Assistant Private Secretary—one of the job requirements is to already be big fan of her!—but this person better be prepared to live in poverty while waiting on Middleton’s secretary hand-and-foot. On Tuesday, the Duchess of Cambridge’s royal team announced the Personal Assistant to the Assistant Private Secretary to the HRH, the Duchess of Cambridge position on LinkedIn, to support her official queenly duties and charitable work. But the job requires a lot more experience than the, uh, £27,600 ($34,044) per year she’s willing to shell out would suggest. The average personal assistant salary in London is £39,963, so why aren’t the royals at least paying market rate?
After doing some digging, I learned this scrimpy salary is equivalent to the mean salary range for retail workers, mid-tier entry level positions, and fast food employees in the U.S. and the U.K. In comparison, the average apartment in the UK is £758 (~$1000 USD) per month if you’re in the city; £614 (~$810 USD) if you’re outside of the city. Royals, say what?? Do they want their staffs to have to choose between food and shelter?
Considering that Middleton randomly ditched her last secretary after her and William’s honeymoon, you’d think the royals would cough up more cash for a quality, trusted administrative liaison. We’ve all seen The Princess Diaries—we know how involved and taxing waiting on a future queen and her team can be. This “dream job,” notably, is a full-time permanent contract and will require 37.5 hours of work per week to serve as the right-hand to the APS.
The job post says Middleton is looking someone with “previous secretarial and administrative experience,” as well as excellent skill in IT, organization and written and spoken communications. The successful candidate will be asked to:
- Manage and control the APS’s diary, liaise with contacts, arrange meetings internally and externally, acting as their front-line representative with all stakeholders;
- Monitor incoming correspondence, emails and telephone calls for the APS, take and relay accurate and timely messages and answer any queries where possible;
- Provide administrative and coordinating support on specific projects for the APS and wider office;
- Support the Events & Visits team with preparation for visits and events, and where appropriate, undertake recces with the APS;
- Organize travel arrangements (in conjunction with other relevant individuals as required)
The first task list is a full-time job alone.
Other duties include organizing the secretary’s calendar, daily meetings, filing and paperwork, and a long-list of other stuff. I dunno—this sounds to me like a $100k-a year position, and we know the Firm can afford it.
As of the job’s posting this morning, the position had over 200 applications on LinkedIn. Let’s just hope these people are being bankrolled by their parents.