Britain's Royal Family searches for new communications assistant days after Kate Middleton photo blunder

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With the internet ablaze with questions about the health and whereabouts of Britain’s much-loved Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, the Royal Household began searching for a new communications assistant based in Buckingham Palace.

The role went live just days after a photograph of Princess Catherine (Kate) and her three children supplied by the Royal family was retracted from publication by several news agencies.

Wires such as the Associated Press, Reuters and Britain’s Press Association issued a “kill notice” on the image with the former citing concerns the photo had been manipulated.

In the following days, the palace began recruiting extra help to assist with news output, namely an assistant paid £25,642.50 a year ($32,740.60).

This salary matches the London recommendation from the Living Wage Foundation—an independent organization that encourages employers to pay salaries reflecting the cost of living rather than the nation’s minimum wage requirements.

The full-time job will report to a private secretary’s office, though which private secretary the staffer will assist is not named.

The role is based at Buckingham Palace where the team mainly “supports the day-to-day activities and duties of the King and Queen and their immediate family”.

However, as the Prince and Princess of Wales’s team are based out of Kensington Palace, the role is unlikely to relate directly to the couple’s communications.

“The Royal communications team promotes the work, role, relevance and value of the Royal Family to a worldwide audience,” the job description reads. “The reaction to our work is always high-profile, and so reputation and impact will be at the forefront of all that you do.”

What will the new communications assistant do?

The role will cover everything from state trips to Royal events, to ensure “communications consistently spark interest and reach a range of audiences.”

Responsibilities for the job include reactive and proactive briefings, overseeing media access to Royal engagements and residences, producing content across a range of platforms, responding to media inquiries and providing diary planning support.

The individual the palace is looking for will have an “eye for detail”, as well as strong written communication skills.

The successful applicant will also have “outstanding” interpersonal skills, work well within tight deadlines, and will have to “quickly establish trust” with other members of their team.

With the current focus on the family—including speculation about the health of King Charles, which was quickly quashed—this might sound like a round-the-clock role.

However, the outline offers a slightly reduced working day: 37.5 hours a week, as opposed to the 40 a regular eight-hour day requires.

Working for the Royal Household also comes with a “generous benefits package designed to support your wellbeing and life priorities,” including complimentary on-site lunches.

Public faith in the Royals rocked

The public’s confidence in Royal announcements has recently been dented after several editing errors were found in a Mother’s Day photograph featuring Princess Kate and her children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

The world’s most powerful monarchy—worth an estimated $28 billion—has been subject to renewed scrutiny in recent years.

The departure of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Prince Harry and Meghan Markle) from “the firm” was a precursor to a slew of media revelations.

In an exclusive 2021 interview with Oprah, the couple alleged racism within the Royal household, before a tell-all memoir published by the Prince in 2023 laid bare the tensions within the family.

A day after the Mother’s Day photo debacle, mother-of-three Princess Catherine wrote on X: “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused.”

This prompted speculation on social media about the true nature of the Royal’s health, who hadn’t been seen in public since Christmas due to planned abdominal surgery.

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