What’s worse than having an embarrassing job? Simple: having an embarrassing job for one of the most powerful people on the planet!
Queen Elizabeth has been around a very long time. And even by the standards of the Royal Family, she has a ton of servants at her beck and call.
Many of these servants have fairly practical jobs that range from royal security to tasting the Queen’s food for poison. Some of these official positions, though, are nothing short of insane!
Don’t believe it? Here is our roundup of the most embarrassing jobs royal staff must do for the Queen.
Breaking in shoes
These days, the Queen doesn’t walk around quite as much as she used to. But when she does walk around, someone has a job to make sure she is comfortable while doing so!
According to the Evening Standard, the Queen has a staffer whose job is to break in her shoes. He simply pops on some ankle socks and walks around Buckingham Palace until the shoes are nice and comfy!
Obviously, having a staff member break in your shoes is about as extra as it gets. But honestly, we’d love for someone to do this for us next time we grab a new pair of shoes!
The Royal Watermen
The Queen has no shortage of ways of traveling from point A to point B. In fact, she can take a private jet to anywhere in the world any time she damn well pleases.
Sometimes, though, local travel demands that she travels along the Thames. And when that happens, she has a special team ready to help!
According to the Royal Family’s own website, she retains a team of Royal Watermen. They have a special barge called the Royal Norse. While this all sounds cool in theory, even the official site admits these guys are purely ceremonial, meaning their job is mostly to do nothing.
Getting paid to look good and do nothing? These guys may be a good match for the Royal Family!
Official stamp collecting
When you live as long as Queen Elizabeth, you develop quite a collection of different items. But there are few things that she takes quite as seriously as her stamp collection.
How seriously does Elizabeth take stamps? According to The Times, the Royal Family retains a Deputy Keeper of the “Royal Philatelic Collection.” It’s only a part-time gig, but the Keeper helps to maintain Elizabeth’s extensive collection (over 17,500 pages) and educate the public about stamps.
It’s a weird job, but hey…someone’s got to do it!
The Piper of the Sovereign
Understanding how embarrassing these jobs are sometimes requires context. For example, the “Piper of the Sovereign” is tasked with playing bagpipes for the Queen. On paper, that doesn’t sound that bad.
However, the Piper’s main job is to play those bagpipes for 15 minutes every weekday morning at 9:00 am. Why this time each weekday? So the Queen can have an official wake-up call!
That’s right: rather than use an alarm clock or a cellphone like the rest of us, the Queen has a special servant whose primary job is to wake her up. To add insult to injury, she made the current Piper memorize over 700 songs so she has a bit of musical variety each morning.
The swan task force
You may have heard before that the Queen technically owns most of the swans in England. But you didn’t think she gathered the swans herself, did you?
In fact, the Queen has a specialized swan task force. According to the Royal Family’s website, the Queen maintains a task force that goes each year on an “iconic five-day journey upriver.” Their job? To inspect the health of the different swans along the Thames!
It’s a great job for animal lovers, but it has to be grating to check on a bunch of random swans each year due to an obscure 12th-century pronouncement about the Queen owning all these animals.
Master of ravens
Looking for an official royal title that sounds like something out of Game of Thrones? Look no further than the position of “Ravenmaster.”
According to NBC News, there is an old legend about King Charles keeping ravens at the Tower of London. It involves a prophecy (a false one, at that) about keeping the ravens there because England will be in danger if they ever leave.
Despite the prophecy being false, there has been a royal Ravenmaster ever since the 19th century. The current Ravenmaster is Christopher Skaife, and despite the absurdity of his position, he has both a popular book (The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London) and a Twitter account with some awesome pictures.
The royal clock-winder
The Royal Family is practically synonymous with tradition. And one of their longest-running traditions is a fondness for analog clocks. This love is so intense that the Queen actually has an official clock-winder!
According to Express, Buckingham Palace has a whopping 450 analog clocks. Currently, Steve Davidson makes and maintains these clocks, and he has done so for decades. In fact, he even developed a specialized device to help do the job left-handed in case his right hand is injured (he previously developed a repetitive strain injury in that hand).
Davidson seems happy with his job. But in a digital world, it seems insane to pay someone to wind and maintain the Queen’s analog clocks.
What do you think about when you read the title “Grand Carver of England?” Chances are that you think this person is in charge of carving statues or other great works of art.
But the real answer is much crazier than that. According to the Financial Times, the Grand Carver of England is a hereditary position, and these people are in charge of carving the Queen’s meat and the meat of the Royal Family as they eat.
According to the current Grand Carver, the Earl of Denbigh, this kind of carving is a “forgotten art.” Honestly, though, after hearing that grown people pay someone to carve their food as if they were children, we’d love to forget this fact as soon as possible!