Wanted: New housekeeper for Prince William, Kate and baby George
The royal couple have advertised in publication 'The Lady' for a new housekeeper to help them create a normal family life for their children in Norfolk, it can be revealed. The duties include "assisting with childcare and caring for dogs"
One could be forgiven for overlooking the characteristically discreet job advertisement in the latest edition of the Lady magazine, but that would be a mistake.
The position in question is for ‘housekeeper’ – one of many such vacancies in the magazine. In this particular case, however, it would put the successful applicant at the heart of the Royal family, in daily contact with the next generation in the line to the throne
It can now be revealed that Prince William and Kate Middleton are seeking a replacement for their former housekeeper, Amy Wood, 34, who last month unexpectedly resigned from her position after less than five months at the Royal couple’s home, a 10-bedroom Georgian stately pile on the Sandringham Estate, in Norfolk.
The advertisement for her replacement gives a fascinating glimpse of what life is like at Anmer Hall when Prince William and Catherine are in residence, a life with children, dogs and jovial family meals at its core.
It reads: “Housekeeper sought for a large family home in Norfolk. We are looking for someone with previous housekeeping experience, ideally within a large private house, and preferably within a family environment with dogs.”
It goes on: “Main duties will include: cleaning all areas of the house to a high standard; caring for and maintaining the home owners’ clothing; cleaning silverware and glassware; purchasing groceries and general provisions for the house; and dealing with deliveries. On occasions, the role will also involve the preparation of meals, assisting with childcare and caring for dogs.”
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There is a hint that the employers in question are more than just run of the mill landed gentry.
“Discretion and loyalty is paramount,” it emphasises, adding, rather more prosaically: “A current valid UK driving licence is essential.”
The advertisement states that the housekeeper will be required Monday to Friday, but with the flexibility to work during the weekend on occasion, and additional hours if ever required, suggesting she or he may be required to accompany Catherine on her trips.
The Duchess is expecting her second child next month and in recent weeks her mother Carole Middleton has been a regular visitor to Anmer Hall, helping out with the couple’s first child, George, and making herself useful around the house.
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It is said she has chosen the new wallpaper and fabrics for the new baby’s nursery and makes sure that the house is always stocked with Prince William’s favourite sea salt chocolates.
Staff are said to refer to Mrs Middleton as the ‘unpaid Fawcett’, a reference to Michael Fawcett, the butler Prince Charles once relied on to run his household.
Insiders say William and Catherine are determined to build a ‘real’ family home at Anmer Hall, rather than at their vast apartment in Kensington Palace. The new housekeeper, initially operating under Mrs Middleton’s supervision, would be a key part of that ambition to create normality for the couple’s children amid the Norfolk countryside.
A source said: “There is very little going on at all at Anmer. It is certainly not a social hotbed and there aren’t’ any fabulous shops to visit. The Cambridges and their children will be living secluded lives there, screened behind all those newly-planted tall trees, with a battery of close protection officers on duty round the clock and all visitors closely monitored.”
The housekeeper’s job, the closing date for which is April 5, comes with self-contained accommodation suitable for a couple, and the successful applicant’s partner may be offered “ad hoc maintenance work”, although it emphasises that “there is no guaranteed work provided for them”. The incumbent’s husband, Colin Wood, 37, looked after the grounds.
The Lady is Britain’s oldest weekly women’s magazine and has been in continuous publication since 1885. Noted for its classified advertisements for domestic service and child care, as well as extensive listings for holiday properties, it was founded by Thomas Gibson Bowles, the maternal grandfather of the Mitford sisters. Bowles had previously launched Vanity Fair magazine, in 1868.