The strange test Royal staffers have to pass to work for the Queen

·2-min read
Photo credit: Stuart C. Wilson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Stuart C. Wilson - Getty Images

Ever thought about taking up a job at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle? Unsurprisingly, it turns out that getting a job with the Queen isn't as straight forward as the average job elsewhere. In fact, there's even a test that candidates have to pass if they want to join the Royal cleaning team.

Speaking on Channel 5's Sandringham: The Royals at Christmas documentary, Tracey Waterman, the head of Royal recruitment, revealed the test her team have devised to ensure they employ the absolute best in the business.

It's called the 'dead fly test', and sees the recruitment team hide (you guessed it) a dead fly in one of the Royal rooms.

"One of the tests I like to do, to see if a candidate has potential eye for detail, is to place a dead fly, either in the fireplace or on the carpet," Tracey explained, "Once the dead fly is placed, I then bring the candidate into the room."

Photo credit: Oli Scarff - Getty Images
Photo credit: Oli Scarff - Getty Images

She continued: "I lead them into the room quite slowly, just giving them a chance to glance at the room, have a little look at what we’ve got inside the room. Bringing them to the fireplace, maybe highlighting that we’ve got a beautiful fireplace."

"At this point I’d expect them to see the dead fly, and hopefully pick it up," she adds.

While a dead fly might seem, err, gross to you and I, for the recruitment team it's a way of seeing which candidates have the eye for detail needed to be a cleaner for Her Majesty.

"It’s a great test, maybe out of 10 people half the candidates will notice the fly. One out of ten will actually bend down and pick it up, that’s the special housekeeper," Tracey points out, "The difference between a housekeeper in a five-star hotel and in a royal palace would be attention to detail."

So, what do the successful candidates get in return for this keen eye for detail? According OK!, the last cleaning position at the Palace, which was an apprenticeship advertised in October last year, had an annual salary of £19,100. This also included accommodation in the Palace itself (how fancy), all meals, travel expenses and a qualification in housekeeping at the end of the contract.

Living at the Palace and free meals! Sounds pretty good if you ask us. Where do we apply?

You Might Also Like

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting