Ridiculous Jobs King Charles Has His Staff Do

When it comes to ruling the United Kingdom, King Charles III has plenty of help along the way, thanks to his hardworking staff. Still, while it's no surprise that this royal ruler needs a little extra assistance to keep everything running smoothly, some of these jobs seem simply baffling. According to the Mirror, before the late Queen passed, she had more than 491 full-time staff. Though King Charles III might choose to make a few alterations, most of the late Queen's workers will continue their royal duties for His Majesty. It's also noted that King Charles III currently has 28 household staff members, including four chefs, five house managers, three valets and dressers, and some butlers. So what kind of work do the employees of this royal ruler do?

According to former royal butler Paul Burrell, those working for the King might need to follow some unusual demands. During an interview, the former royal worker claimed that working for HM required patience due to the King's odd requests. For example, Burrell alleged that one time, King Charles accidentally dropped a letter into a wastebasket and called a butler over to pick the letter out of the bin rather than do it himself. MyLondon similarly reported that the King also has some pretty strange preferences for how his food is served. With more than a few bizarre royal jobs, fans of the royal family want to know some of the strangest work for King Charles III's employees.

The king's food must be prepared in a specific way

When it comes to eating habits, plenty of people have unique preferences about how they want their food. But, of course, if you're the king of the United Kingdom, your specific wants for your meal aren't your responsibility, but that of the staff. Likewise, regarding peculiar dining habits, MyLondon stated that King Charles III has some odd requests. A royal source told the outlet that when it comes to biscuits, the king wants his staff to pre-warm them to a specific degree; otherwise, he won't eat them. If that wasn't strange enough, the insider revealed how the former Prince of Wales's staff accommodates his food habits. "The staff keeps a warming pan just to make sure they are hot enough for his liking."

It sounds like a hassle and would seem that King Charles III's diet frustrates his staff. For example, according to the Daily Mail, the king eats only a light breakfast and just one main meal a day, skipping lunch altogether. While chatting with the DM, a member of the ruler's staff disclosed that the king's meal decisions also affect them. "It can be a problem sometimes. When we do day visits or foreign tours, he can go the whole day without stopping for a break, which means we all have to miss our lunch as well," the source stated. The royal insider added that the king didn't seem particularly aware that everyone around him was hungry.

The king has specific requirements for state banquets

As previously noted, King Charles III has some very peculiar eating habits. However, Hello! Magazine reported that staff must also accommodate some of the ruler's unusual food preferences at state banquets. According to Graham Tinsley MBE and former manager of the Welsh Culinary Team, he has experienced some of the king's unusual requests while catering for royal events throughout Wales. So what are some of the things that Tinsley needed to adjust for the king? "[King] Charles doesn't like chocolate, he doesn't like coffee, nor does he like garlic. So we do have to consider these things when we're creating a menu for him," the insider revealed.

Likewise, Tinsley noted that King Charles desires a specific salad with coddled egg (a boiled egg that's been cooked for two to three minutes) at state banquets. His tea also has specific instructions, as the royal will only drink tea made with loose leaves in a teapot. If he's drinking green tea, the water has to be heated to 70C or 100C if it's Earl Grey. Still, these aren't the king's only accommodations for special events. Tinsley said that whenever the king goes to banquets, he always brings things with him to make his spot at the table more comfortable. "He always takes a little silver Maldon sea salt container and his favourite cushion. You can always spot [King] Charles' place setting at a table, because all his bits and pieces are there," noted Tinsley.

King Charles expected his staff to make space on his desk

As noted by Newsweek, a video of the former Prince of Wales's behavior towards his staff went viral not long after the United Kingdom's ruler officially became the King. In following the longstanding tradition that the throne never be without a ruler, Prince Charles became King Charles III the moment his mother passed. In a Twitter clip, King Charles III expresses his frustration at a staff member, gesturing for them to clear his desk and remove a tray of pens while he signed official documents during the ruler's accession council. The video was recorded as a part of the official coverage of the historical events marking the British government's formal recognition of a new monarch.

The outlet noted that the King's treatment of his staff quickly received significant backlash from social media posts criticizing the ruler's behavior. For example, Twitter parody account Laura Kuenssberg Translator re-shared the clip with the caption, "The servant must clear my desk for me. I can't be expected to move things." Newsweek noted others' frustration with the King's attitude, with one user stating, "Manners cost nothing!" while another said, "Took him more effort to wave his hand a dozen times than to move it himself." However, some claimed it wasn't King Charles's fault and cited that the poor set-up was to blame. "To be fair to him, it's a big occasion, and they got him the world's smallest table," one user wrote.

The king's morning routine requires serious patience

Though it's not uncommon for someone to want things to be a specific way, it would seem that King Charles III's unusual habits and food preferences also extend to his daily morning routine. GoodtoKnow reported that the United Kingdom's ruler likes his days to start in a precise way, according to a former royal butler. But of course, being a high-ranking royal, his staff are the ones that assist him with his day-to-day needs. In the documentary "Serving the Royals: Inside the Firm," Princess Diana's former royal butler, Paul Burrell, didn't hold back from revealing some of the King's bizarre royal preferences. For example, Burrell alleged that King Charles's clothes and baths needed to be prepared in a specific way.

"His pyjamas are pressed every morning, his shoelaces are pressed flat with an iron," Burrell declared. Still, while that sounds like some seriously extensive preparation, those aren't the only things King Charles III requires each morning. "The bath plug has to be in a certain position, and the water temperature has to be just tepid," the former royal staffer proclaimed during the documentary. At the time of its release, the then-Prince of Wales was splitting his time between his home at Clarence House and Highgrove, where he allegedly wanted the staff to also prepare his toothbrush for him. "He has his valets squeeze one inch of toothpaste onto his toothbrush every morning," Burrell added.

Long-time staffers can be unexpectedly terminated 

With King Charles III's clear preference for having tasks done in a specific way, one would think that there'd be plenty of odd jobs for the royal ruler's numerous staff members. However, according to The Guardian, after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, around 100 of King Charles's employees were notified that they would likely be laid off. The royal workers were given the news while they were in the middle of planning the King's elevation to the throne. The outlet stated that some staffers had been working for the royal family for decades. Among the workers given the notice of redundancies were private secretaries, the finance office, the communications team, and household staff members.

The staffers claimed that prior to his elevation in status, there had been no indication that the King's reign would affect their employment. One source said, "Everyone is absolutely livid, including private secretaries and the senior team." The insider added that before they were given notice, everyone had been working lengthy hours. "People were visibly shaken by it [the announcement of layoffs]," they stated. On the other hand, the King's new top aide Sir Clive Alderton issued a public letter stating that the King's change in role naturally meant a change for the former Prince of Wales's staff. A spokesman for Clarence House additionally indicated that they were looking to find new roles for some of the workers but that some of the terminations were simply unavoidable.

Buckingham Palace workers have to follow certain rules

As noted by the royal family's official website, working for family members requires a serious commitment. Likewise, many staff members are located at Buckingham Palace, the primary residence of the ruler of the United Kingdom. As reported by Insider, Buckingham Palace is occupied with private secretaries, government liaison officers, and media officers who assist the ruler with representation, public oversight, and preventing scandal. Still, according to Hello! Magazine, there is one specific rule that staff members living and working in the residency are required to follow. Though this regulation was initially announced during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles hasn't announced any changes or alterations, so it's assumed that this rule is still in place.

This recent rule that staff is expected to follow is no pet dogs. This restriction might surprise some people, considering that the late queen was a well-known dog lover. However, in 2018, when the rule was first implemented, The Lord Chamberlain cited hygiene and security as the reasons for the change. According to Forbes (via a young journalist who briefly posed as a butler at Buckingham Palace), staff working at the royal residency should expect long hours and small living quarters. The outlet added (via the Times) that live-in staff should expect to eat and sleep at Buckingham Palace. But, live-in workers do get the added perk of free meals, phones, bikes, and discretionary car leasing.

Royal Horological Conservators need to set all the clocks

When it comes to tradition, it's clear that the royal family prefers to follow long-running customs. As such, when it comes to maintaining the royal residences, the ruler of the United Kingdom has official Royal Horological Conservators who maintain and set the royal clocks. According to a previous post seeking to fill the position (via Hodinkee), a Royal Horological Conservator is expected to maintain, set, and repair the more than 1,000 clocks located at Buckingham Palace and the other royal residences. The royal staffer will also need to have historical knowledge and mechanical skill to care for these centuries-old clocks. While the job sounds pretty unusual, there's clearly plenty of detail that goes into the work.

So just how much does this royal job pay? Well, at the time of the posting in 2013, the salary for Royal Horological Conservator was listed as $50,163. Additionally, according to the royal family's official website, the Horological Conservator is expected to work 37.5 hours per week, Monday through Friday. The site adds that a person who fills this position will be expected to balance various projects and will need to use their expertise to provide advice and guidance on maintaining and preserving the clocks. Likewise, a prior announcement from the Royal Collection Trust in 20202 noted that it took a team of Horological Conservators more than 40 hours to change all the clocks across all of the monarch's royal residences.

The king has a grand carver

When it comes to odd jobs, there are plenty of strange roles to fill if you work for the King. However, as noted by Express, one particularly unusual job the monarch employs isn't one that can be applied for. The Grand Carver is a position with a unique and rich history. As the name suggests, the Grand Carver's only job is to perfectly slice meat and serve it to His Majesty and the rest of the royal family. While the position isn't a very prominent one in modern times, previously, this post was considered one of great importance, as a ruler is never supposed to carve their own meat. The outlet stated, "In the past skilled carvers would serve the monarch slices of meat that were a uniform shape and thickness, and which were still hot."

While that might not sound like a big deal to most people, English chef and restaurateur Mark Hix declared that the role has become a "forgotten art" in today's society. However, despite its lack of necessities in modern times, the write-up stated (via The Financial Times) that the royal family still "retains the hereditary office of the Grand Carver of England." Even so, those interested in the job shouldn't bother applying as the work is exclusive to one special family and has been passed down from generation to generation since the 17th century. Currently, the position is held by Alexander Fielding, the Earl of Denbigh and Desmond.

King Charles III has an Astronomer Royal

With no shortage of odd jobs among those employed by the monarch, one particularly interesting position is that of the Astronomer Royal. So what exactly does the person holding this title do? According to Royal Museums Greenwich, the Astronomer Royal is a job given to a prominent astronomer. This person is expected to advise the King on astronomical issues. The job was first created by King Charles II when he established the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The first (and most famous) Astronomer Royal was John Flamsteed, who held the title from 1675 to 1720. Flamsteed was noted for his prominent role in helping to establish the Royal Observatory and its reputation as an integral part of astronomy and timekeeping.

Other Astronomer Royals include Edmund Halley, who held the role from 1720 to 1742. Halley took the job when he was 64 years old and is best known for discovering the comet that bears his name. More recent Astronomer Royals were Sir Martin Ryle, Francis Graham Smith, and Professor Arnold W. Wolfendale. The current Astronomer Royal is Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow. The outlet additionally stated that nowadays, the position of Astronomer Royal is mainly regarded as an honorary post. Likewise, the person holding the job is considered a member of the royal household. However, the Astronomer Royal only receives £100 (approximately $112.55) per year, so those holding the title definitely shouldn't quit their day job.

The king's Piper must wake him every morning

As noted by Hello! Magazine, the ruler of the United Kingdom, has an unusual alarm clock that puts digital clocks to shame. So what exactly is this special wake-up call? It's bagpipe music played by the Piper of the Sovereign, a special position for a person within the royal household with one specific mission, waking up the ruler of the UK by playing bagpipes. When it comes to this job, the Piper gets no days off. They must be ready to play their music beneath the monarch's window every day for exactly 15 minutes. This unique position has existed since 1843 when Queen Victoria first created the role after enjoying the sound of bagpipes in the Highlands.

As noted by The Sun, King Charles III recently appointed the Queen's funeral piper, Pipe Major Paul Burns, as his personal piper. Burns gained notoriety for his striking rendition of Sleep Dearie Sleep while closing Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral. According to the outlet, Burns officially began his new role in early October 2022. Regarding the announcement, a source told the write-up that they were pleased that the tradition would continue. They also stated that the King was very impressed by Burn's performance at his mother's funeral. However, it sounds like one part of this custom might get altered; as the insider noted, "The tradition is for it to happen at 9am. But the King is always awake much earlier."