Queen Elizabeth II’s palace in Edinburgh has 289 rooms — and the Royal Household is looking for a part-time housekeeper to keep them up to her majesty’s standards. No previous housekeeping experience is necessary, but the job advert stresses the need for a “proactive approach” — as well as a willingness to work for the minimum wage.
The pay for the 20-hour-per-week job is £9.50, or the equivalent of $12.96 an hour. That reflects the U.K.’s new minimum wage, which will rise from £8.91 an hour now to £9.50 an hour in April.
To be sure, the Royal Household employs hundreds of workers, from gardeners to security officers, but it may come as a surprise that the queen is hiring people at the nation’s baseline wage. After all, Forbes estimates her personal wealth at $500 million, while pegging the wealth of “the Firm” that she heads at $28 billion.
But the workers who are employed by the Royal Household aren’t known for earning cushy salaries, according to Forbes. For instance, an entry-level IT worker earns about $40,000 a year, far below the typical pay of about $51,000 for a junior IT specialist in the U.S.
The part-time housekeeper job would earn about $13,000 per year, based on the hourly wage advertised. Their job will consist of cleaning and caring “for a wide range of interiors and items, ensuring they’re presented to their very best,” the job posting notes.
On the other hand, the Royal Household dangles some benefits that may make the baseline pay more palatable to applicants. The job comes with 33 days of paid vacation — compared with about 10 days of paid vacation on average for American workers — and a 15% contribution toward the worker’s retirement account.
So what does it take to be a housekeeper for Queen Elizabeth? The job posting notes that prior housekeeping or hospitality experience “would be an advantage but is not essential.”
It adds, “We’re more interested in your proactive approach and ability to tackle new challenges.” High standards are a must, as well as being well organized, good with time management and the ability to work efficiently.
“Above all, you’ll be eager to learn new skills and develop a hospitality career,” the posting notes.
Applicants also need to be British citizens or be authorized to work in the U.K. — and must receive security clearance. That includes a background check and can take between four to six weeks to complete, according to the Royal Household.
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