Job-hunters had a unique opportunity to join the Royal Household, when the Queen advertised for a personal maid at Buckingham Palace.
The post, which pays £273 a week, asks for someone with a “friendly, polite and approachable disposition” to work as a housekeeping assistant. However, it involves a bit more than flicking the occasional duster over an antique bookcase. According to the job advertsiements, the successful post-holder will be responsible for:
“High quality cleaning, presentation and guest care … in the personal rooms of the Royal Family, their guests’ suites, State Apartments, cloakrooms, staff and office accommodation, staircases and corridors.”
During a 40-hour week, they will take care of the antique marquetry furniture , mirrors, carpets, hard floor surfaces, fixtures and fittings, curtains, upholstery, picture frames, glass and silverware, objects d’art, bed linen and more besides.
When they are not making the state rooms, bedrooms and offices spick and span, the maid (or valet) will be expected to make and change beds, run baths, assist with dressing, arrange tea and breakfast trays, press clothes, clean jewellery, arrange dry cleaning and attend to the personal needs of royal guests. Setting up rooms for special events and for occupation by visiting members of the Royal Family and other royals, and undertaking cloakroom and front-of-house duties at royal functions are also part of the job, both at the palace and at royal residences like Balmoral.
Antique dealers in Lancashire have antique desks and Victorian dining chairs that will make any home into a palace, and they should not be quite so exhausting to clean.