The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have increased the number of royal engagements they have attended so far in 2016; but they still have a long way to go until they catch up with the Queen, Prince Philip and other senior members of the Royal Family.
According to a study in the Daily Express, there is a comparative difference in the number of duties undertaken by the younger royals this year to last year. For other more senior members of the family, the number of duties remained similar for both years.
Prince Charles and Princess Anne have taken up the majority of the 2,273 royal duties thus far, with 331 for Anne, and 333 for Charles. The 90-year-old monarch has thus far undertaken 211 engagements, with 68% being held at a royal residence. And her 95-year-old husband, Prince Philip has taken up 130 engagements this year.
Earlier this year, Prince William was accused of being “workshy”, despite his job as an air ambulance pilot where he works up to 80 hours per month and donates his salary to charity. William has increased his royal duties this year to 30% from this time last year from 65 to 89. After leaving the military in June last year, his brother Harry, has an increase of 57%, from 54 to 85 engagements. And Kate, who was on maternity leave for the first 6 months of 2015, has increased her number of royal engagements from 27 to 69 so far this year.
Joe Little is the managing editor of Majesty magazine. He is rather astonished at how much the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have been working: “I know they’re on holiday in Scotland now but when you look at how much they did particularly in June day after day you wonder how they did it.”
Where William and Catherine are concerned, Mr. Little believes there’s no happy medium to be found. He said: “They are in a very tricky situation in that they don’t want to do too much in public so that they eclipse his father and and step-mother.”
Royal engagements are not recorded by length of time a royal remains at an event, but rather the number of events they actually attend. For instance, one member could attend three events in one hour, whilst another could spend an entire afternoon chatting and interacting with attendees. Aides to the younger royals insist they focus on quality rather than quantity, campaigning on issues such as erasing the stigmas surrounding mental health and the renewed problem of HIV/AIDS in great Britain.
Prince Andrew, a rather controversial figure undertook 204 events so far this year, the majority of them being his Pitch At Palace initiative. The Earl and Countess of Wessex undertook 185 and 130 events; the Duchess of Cornwall, 169; the Duke of Gloucester, 126; the Duchess of Gloucester, 75; the Duke of Kent, 126 and Princess Alexandra, with 50.
Working as a family, the ‘Firm’ as it is known, continues to run smoothly, with everyone doing their share. Some royals, however, are more popular than others, and will receive more criticism regardless of whether they lead the pack or not. And even for the Queen, taking up public events has been par for the course for her for decades. How would it look if she were to suddenly decrease her number of royal engagements? The public would certainly speculate about her health and ability to continue to remain Queen.
What do you think about this story? Should younger royals be doing more, or should they concentrate on other activities? Comment below!