A few months ago, thanks to breaking news via Twitter from Victoria Murphy with the UK Mirror and Richard Palmer with the UK Daily Express, I discovered that Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton was becoming Principal Private Secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate) and Prince Harry, while both Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge were getting their own Private Secretaries, Rebecca Deacon for Kate and Miguel Head for William. Edward Lane Fox is the newly-announced personal private secretary to Prince Harry.
This move within the Royal Household was “very interesting – a new era in the royal household,” tweeted Murphy. “The job changes in William, Kate and Harry’s household will be seen as them spreading their wings and loosening ties with their father,” Palmer tweeted.
However, I had another, more important question. What is a Private Secretary, and can I be one? So, a wee bit of research ensued.
First, the Private Secretary is the public face of that Royal when it comes to issuing of statements or responding to letters. Kind of like their gatekeeper, but with much more significance. They usually are assisted by deputy secretaries and sometimes even whole offices of people.
Second, the Private Secretary has the responsibility for coordinating the development of the official policy items that are important to the Royal they are working for, and for ensuring those items are clearly and fully implemented.
Third, they will be in attendance at all meetings, taking notes, and are responsible for the Royal’s schedule or Diary.
In short, they handle scheduling, public relations, policy development and implementation, and administrative duties for the Royal they work for.
They are also an every present support and advisor. Kind of like the entourage a Hollywood actor may have, but with a lot more decorum, style and wisdom.
A Principal Private Secretary is simply more senior than a Private Secretary, and manages the Private Secretaries under them.
If you are interested in working in the Royal Household as a Private Secretary, or in one of the many other positions there, keep an eye on the British Monarchy website’s job section. You just never know…