British Royals

This is how the royals would fare in today’s job market

Duchess of Cambridge, Duchess of Sussex
Picture by Stephen Lock / i-Images

It’s hard to imagine Prince William earning £21,000 as a charity worker or the Duchess of Cornwall sitting behind a desk as a secretary, but a report from TheKnowledgeAcademy.com has revealed what members of the British Royal Family might do for a living if they weren’t royal, as well as what they’d earn.

The research is based on average reported salary figures and available job openings across the UK’s biggest job listing sites, and focuses on eight members of the Royal Family: The Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex, the Duchess of Sussex, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Earl of Wessex, the Countess of Wessex, and the Princess Royal.

It shows how fast they could expect to find a job, what positions they would realistically be competing for, and what sort of money they would stand to make.

The estimated highest-earning member of the family comes as no surprise, with former television actress the Duchess of Sussex predicted as making around £350,000 a year.

“According to knownetworth.com, right before marrying Prince Harry, she made about £350,000 per year from her Suits annual salary as well as various endorsement deals and sponsorships,” the report says. “Given the fact that she hasn’t left the public eye since her marriage, but has actually received even more attention from the press, it wouldn’t be difficult to see her landing another high-profile and well paid acting role if she were to leave the Royal Family.”

Princes William and Harry both have extensive experience with charity work, but pay in the charity sector is low, with an estimated salary of £21,000 a year. However, keeping in mind their military backgrounds, returning to active service could earn them as much as £55,000 a year as a major.

As for the Duchess of Cambridge, she holds a degree from the University of St Andrews combined with experience as an accessories buyer for Jigsaw and a stint helping with marketing, catalogue design and production for her parents’ company, Party Pieces. She could expect to earn about £23,000 in a corporate administrative or marketing role, along with a short job search since there’s “a wealth of such roles currently being advertised as open.”

Princess Anne is one of the hardest-working members of the Royal Family, racking up an impressive number of engagements each year. Her work with nonprofits would make her well-suited for a role as a charity officer or coordinator. However, lacking actual work experience outside of the Royal Family, “she could expect to earn less than Prince Harry and William, with an expected salary of £19,000 in her first year on the job,” the report says.

The Countess of Wessex had a successful public relations career before marrying into the royal family, working for a variety of organisations before running her own firm. The Knowledge Academy reports her as being able to make about £40,000 a year in a comparable PR role in today’s job market.

If her husband, the Earl of Wessex, was to look for a job, he could look to a past career in media and theatre production. After leaving the Royal Navy, Prince Edward turned to his love of the theatre, working as a production assistant for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group. He then started his own television production company in 1993 called Ardent Productions where he served as producing director and joint managing director, but the company was dissolved in 2009.

“According to Glassdoor, a producing director in the UK can expect to earn an average salary of £67,000,” The Knowledge Academy report says. With Edward’s company being described as an “industry laughing stock” in the media, it’s somewhat unlikely he would be considered for such a role. However, production assistants with a few years of experience can earn about £28,000.

Lastly, the Duchess of Cornwall, who attended various finishing schools, worked as a part-time secretary in London at one time. “Her limited experience as a secretary would only earn her a £17,500 annual salary,” the report says. “On the bright side, there is no shortage of secretarial positions in the UK, so she wouldn’t be on the market for too long.”



About author

Kristin is Chief Reporter for Royal Central and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. She blogs about royal fashion and travel at royallybroke.com. Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.