According to the job brief, applicants are expected to deliver “extraordinary service in incredible surroundings” – and Buckingham Palace certainly is incredible in all senses of the word.
An army of more than 800 members of staff, including servants, chefs, footmen, electricians and gardeners, are responsible for ensuring that every single room, object and hedge always looks in tip-top condition. But the role of a butler is to deal directly with esteemed visitors and royals, meaning good people-skills and patience are essential.
Every year the palace hosts 50,000 guests at different official functions, ranging from lunches to state banquets, garden parties and special celebratory events. It means a royal butler could be serving guests at the welcoming of a foreign head of state, or during one of the Queen’s weekly audiences with the Prime Minister or even at something far more personal, like a royal christening or birthday.
There’s even the possibility of being a part of a special one-off, once-in-a-lifetime extravaganza like the butlers who served at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert and the 2015 England Rugby World Cup celebration party.
The main role of a royal butler is to be on-hand at all these different royal functions and to “take care of guests from welcome to goodbye”.
Obviously, being polite and having general good manners are essential, but being friendly, approachable and able to speak with anyone from any background is key, as visitors come from all countries and cultures.
In terms of expertise, the palace does promise to train potential butlers to the highest possible standard, but prior experience in the hospitality industry is desirable.
As part of the job, there is the option to live in one of the 188 staff bedrooms at Buckingham Palace, but it does mean that you’ll get paid less. Considering the fact that a similar role advertised in 2017 offered £18,850 per annum, this job is probably for those interested in a totally unique experience rather than a healthy salary. Plus, you’ll get to tell people that you actually worked and lived in the most famous palace in the world.