When we think of caretaking, we think of the days and hours of caring for an elderly loved one. Perhaps you’re providing care for someone who is sick, has dementia or Alzheimer’s, someone who is living out their last days, or perhaps just needs a little extra attention. No matter how what your reality is, caretaking comes in many forms. Some caregivers take care of healthy, active individuals and it too, can take its toll.
The Royal Wedding caused quite a social stir just a few short weeks ago! It was reported that 18.6 million households in the US alone watched the ceremony. Staggering numbers across the world stopped for a while to see lovely Kate Middleton walk down the aisle to marry her Prince! And since becoming a member of the Royal Family isn’t likely for most of us, let’s imagine what it would be like to be a Royal Caretaker!
Buckingham Palace measures 828,818 sq. ft. with 775 rooms. These rooms include 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms, a swimming pool and a cinema. About 1200 people work at the Palace, including domestic servants, chefs, footmen, cleaners, plumbers, gardeners, chauffeurs, electricians, and two people who look after the 300 clocks. (People aren’t supposed to watch the clock while on duty, are they?)
The Royal Household, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx1hBjv62bw&feature=player_embedded#at=280) as it’s called, is made up of 5 departments and supports The Queen and other members of the Royal Family. If you’re so inclined, you can search the job board (https://atsv7.wcn.co.uk/search_engine/jobs.cgi?SID=b3duZXI9NTA0MDk2OSZvd25lcnR5cGU9ZmFpciZwb3N0aW5nX2NvZGU9MjExJnN1Ym1pdFNlYXJjaEZvcm09MSZ1c2VyY29kZT0wJiZyZXFzaWc9MTMwNTg5NDE4OC1lYWNiZTE0Mzk1YTc4OTdjYzA1ZTRkMzI2MzY0MTY3MDM4MzVkMWQx) for current vacancies. Currently there are three jobs available, Purchase Ledger Assistant, General Assistant (Dining Room) and Telephonist. Notice, there is not an opening for the Royal Clock watcher!
Sam Greenhill wrote an article for the Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-420943/Teacups-problems.html#ixzz1MtYPUwLI) in 2006 about the advertised post of coffee room assistant at Buckingham Palace.
In it, he wrote,
Applicants are told: “You will join the team responsible for arranging trays for tea and coffee, breakfast and other service requirements for Members of the Royal Family and their guests.
“You will ensure trays are set with the correct glass and porcelain and that drinks and food items are prepared and presented to the highest standards. You may also be required to assist with service and to travel to other UK residences.”
It adds: “You will possess good organisation skills, work well within a team and be able to communicate clearly with colleagues. Previous experience of the catering or service industry would be an advantage, however training will be provided to those with a flexible, motivated attitude and who strive to provide the highest standards of service.”
He went on to say that this Royal tea party often includes The Queen’s dogs which have been known to nip and bite. There’s danger even when you simply brew tea!
So when you’re having a moment of despair, consider life working in The Palace and daydream about the role you would choose and what life would be like. It may just be that this daydream lifts your spirits and engages your mind keeping you energized and healthy!