An annual tradition around the end of every year is the release of the royal family’s “numbers,” the number of work engagements they managed to do over the course of the year. Since 2011, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s numbers have been rather sad, which have caused many royal apologists to claim that Will and Kate are having babies and they need to spend time as a young family, etc. Personally, covering Will and Kate as I do day after day, week after week, year after year, I find it remarkable to see how much time they spend finding ways to AVOID work. Obviously, the senior working royals – the Princess Royal, the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles – are all consistently out-working the younger royals, which happened again this year.
Interesting enough, the Daily Mail reported the working-numbers story differently than other outlets. They tried to make it about the DAYS worked, as opposed to the actual number of engagements undertaken. If you’re counting the “days” royal figures worked, Kate only worked 63 days in 2016. William worked 80 days and Harry worked 86 days, although keep in mind that Harry doesn’t get to count his volunteerism, his Invictus work and more towards his royal-engagement numbers. Princess Anne worked 179 days, Charles worked 139 days, the Earl of Wessex worked 118 days and the Duke of York worked 112 days. But those numbers sound low, right? Right. It’s better to go with the actual royal-engagement numbers:
The Princess Royal, who regularly undertakes more than 500 engagements a year, carried out more engagements than Prince William, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge COMBINED. Being forced to take a week off due to a bad chest infection in September did nothing to dent her reputation as the hardest working royal compared to younger generations. The 66-year-old topped the list as the hardest working royal for the second year running, thrashing William, Kate and Harry despite them flying out for a number of overseas trips this year. The trio, who all reside at Kensington Palace when the Duke and Duchess are not at Anmer Hall, Norfolk, carried out 485 duties but were outperformed by their older relatives who carried out the bulk of the Royal Family’s 4,712 duties.
Prince Charles carried out 469 engagements, Prince Edward 429 and Prince Andrew carried out 348 royal duties. Not to be outdone, 90-year-old Queen Elizabeth also undertook one of her busiest years and actually increased her workload, carrying out a huge 385 engagements compared to 337 last year.
Her husband the Duke of Edinburgh also carried out more engagements than his grandsons. 95-year-old Prince Philip undertook 336 engagements this year compared to 217 last year.
Despite increasing his workload Prince William, 34, is still a way behind his grandparents. The father-of-two carried out 204 engagements including major tours in Canada and India, compared to 122 engagements last year. Prince Harry, 32, also upped his game and carried out 166 engagements compared to last year’s 108. The Duchess of Cambridge, who returned from maternity leave after having Princess Charlotte, increased her royal duties with 115 engagements, with a focus on removing the stigma surrounding mental health.
It doesn’t surprise me that William has nearly double the engagements as Kate. William stepped out solo a lot this year to do “work,” even though his solo events didn’t get the attention he would have gotten had he brought Kate. As for Kate increasing her numbers to 115…as the Daily Mail points out, that’s still just 63 days of work in a 366-day year (it was a leap year). She literally averages one day of “work” a week.