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  #21  
Old 01-01-2012, 11:52 PM
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Did'nt mean too Ghost Night!

I thought Kate did a great job in 2011.Took it with ease and calm.Can't wait until next year!

I hope Will and Kate will wow us even more like they did in the past year.
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  #22  
Old 01-02-2012, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by VictoriaB View Post
Does anyone know how the number of engagements carried out by each member of the family is calculated?

If, for example, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have a day of engagements in, say, York which includes visiting the Minster, meeting with business leaders, visiting a new exhibition at the museum and a school (all in different parts of the city), is that 1 or 4 engagements?

Alternately, if the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were to attend El Alamein Barracks to hand out campaign medals to the 4th Montgomery Regiment and afterwards had lunch in the sergeant's mess before a reception in the officer's mess is that 1, 2 or 3 engagements?

Thanks in advance for your response.
I am afraid you will need to contact Tim O'Donovan for details on the calculations. He is a private citizen who complies the numbers based on what appears in the Court Circular. There is no official count provided by the palace. Its all based on Mr O'Donovan's calculations and the letter he writes to The Times each year.
I believe he also appeared briefly in the documentary The Royal Family at Work, and explained how he comes up with the numbers each year. You may be able to find it on You Tube.
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  #23  
Old 01-02-2012, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by VictoriaB View Post
A few points in reply:-

I don't know how the list is worked out, I'm just going off the numbers that have been reported. I don't know how accurate it is, again, I am just going off what has been reported in the article quoted above.

I can't say what the typical number of engagements is for a the wife of an heir's heir. I think the last one was Princess Mary and I don't think the situation in 1901 is comparable with today.

The number of overseas engagements is not my number, it's the number quoted in the article. If it's accurate it means that over half of Catherine's engagements took place within an 11 day period (there were either one or two engagements in Denmark depending upon how the engagements are counted). I don't suggest that the overseas engagements shouldn't be counted. My reason for discounting them in my post was purely because it means that absent those two weeks in North America, Catherine's calendar has not exactly been packed.

I know she's finding her feet and I know her workload will increase but the Press Association article says Catherine has been throwing herself into work. I don't think 11 or 15 engagements in 8 months is "throwing herself" into work.

Just my personal opinion. I don't mean to offend.
The number of engagements for all the members of the royal family are collated by a member of the public. He uses the Court Circular, but in his calculations he divides up the types of engagements (dinners, meetings, investitures) and also separates the overseas engagements to the local ones. It's the press who do the adding up!

Tim O'Donovan publishes his lists in a letter to the editor each year to the Times newspaper. Read this and get a far better view of what type of engagements and what is counted. Trips to the Derby and family birthday events are not, neither are getting on a plane which is also listed in the Court Circular when members of the royal family travel for official reasons.
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  #24  
Old 01-02-2012, 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by VictoriaB View Post
With respect, I disagree. Of the 34 engagements Catherine undertook over half (19) were overseas, the majority in the 11 days she and Prince William were in Canada and the US, that leaves 15 for the rest of the year - since 29 April.

Please correct me if I am wrong (I often am) but I understood the list was compiled from the Court Circular.

The Court Circular lists attendance at the Derby, the church service for Prince Phillip's 90th birthday, trooping the colour and the brief meeting with President and Mrs Obama to thank them for the wedding gift they donated.

That leaves 11 engagements over an 8 month period.

I am sure that over the coming years Catherine will increase her workload dramatically and I know that she is finding her feet in the Family. I am not criticising her but merely pointing out that press reports of her "throwing herself" into her her new work as a member of the Royal Family are misleading. Catherine has had a very, very light load this year.

Remember that she is also undergoing extensive 'princess' lessons, as well as researching and studying a large array of charities that she has to choose to represent. So even though she only had 34 engagements, she was still quite busy.
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  #25  
Old 01-02-2012, 02:17 AM
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Originally Posted by NGalitzine View Post
I am afraid you will need to contact Tim O'Donovan for details on the calculations. He is a private citizen who complies the numbers based on what appears in the Court Circular. There is no official count provided by the palace. Its all based on Mr O'Donovan's calculations and the letter he writes to The Times each year.
I believe he also appeared briefly in the documentary The Royal Family at Work, and explained how he comes up with the numbers each year. You may be able to find it on You Tube.
Thank you for your kind response.
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  #26  
Old 01-02-2012, 02:33 AM
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Seems to me that anyone who wants to lead a marginally private life - but still care for the people around them - would want a basic first aid course. She is around some fairly aged people - and perhaps she wants to be autonomous, like the rest of us. I don't find it particularly impressive, but I think it's in keeping with the view that Kate is a very practical girl. Also, perhaps it will give her something to talk about (in common) with her SAR hubby.
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  #27  
Old 01-02-2012, 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by PrincessKaimi
Seems to me that anyone who wants to lead a marginally private life - but still care for the people around them - would want a basic first aid course. She is around some fairly aged people - and perhaps she wants to be autonomous, like the rest of us. I don't find it particularly impressive, but I think it's in keeping with the view that Kate is a very practical girl. Also, perhaps it will give her something to talk about (in common) with her SAR hubby.
Yeah good on her just saying I'm sure down to earth Kate wouldn't want us to make it something it's not in fact I think she would hate it. She's not that sort of person
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  #28  
Old 01-02-2012, 04:53 AM
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Here's my two cents' worth: I think that she's been preparing to take up a role with the Red Cross and wants to be involved in a "hands on" way as well as being a high-level supporter of the organization. I wonder whether the tabloids will "steal" my idea.
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  #29  
Old 01-02-2012, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by PrincessKaimi View Post
Seems to me that anyone who wants to lead a marginally private life - but still care for the people around them - would want a basic first aid course. She is around some fairly aged people - and perhaps she wants to be autonomous, like the rest of us. I don't find it particularly impressive, but I think it's in keeping with the view that Kate is a very practical girl. Also, perhaps it will give her something to talk about (in common) with her SAR hubby.
I wonder if she talked about Princess Mary of Denmark about this. Both Danish princesses have attended a series of courses to be trained in the field of home defense services which included first aid. It's something very important to know about - especially as her husband surely is very well trained in that respect! Good for Catherine!
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  #30  
Old 01-02-2012, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Charlotte1 View Post
The number of engagements for all the members of the royal family are collated by a member of the public. He uses the Court Circular, but in his calculations he divides up the types of engagements (dinners, meetings, investitures) and also separates the overseas engagements to the local ones. It's the press who do the adding up!

Tim O'Donovan publishes his lists in a letter to the editor each year to the Times newspaper. Read this and get a far better view of what type of engagements and what is counted. Trips to the Derby and family birthday events are not, neither are getting on a plane which is also listed in the Court Circular when members of the royal family travel for official reasons.

Tim O Donovan's list is very impressive indeed. I hope that Zonk won't delete this, but will move it to another thread if it is deemed too OT here because I think it is an important point to make, but over the years people have pointed out the downside of Tim O Donovan's list is that it is based purely on numbers of types of particular enagements, rather than the 'time' and 'quality' of each engagement. Thus, if William and Catherine spend a whole afternoon at an event, this will be counted only as 'one engagement', whereas another royal could have fitted in several engagements in a similar time frame, yet have them counted separately.

From my own experience, I can remember having the privilege of being at an Engagement held at a special school, with Princess Alexandra and her husband the then Hon Angus Ogilvy. [the latter, in my humble opinion, one of the unsung heros of the BRF spouses for all the support he gave his royal wife]. The engagement lasted for quite some time, with Princess Alexandra meeting absolutely everyone, including parents and carers of these special-needs children, and staff - right down to the oft-forgotten dinner ladies. This was counted in the Court Circular as 'one engagement', yet it lasted a long time and most probably required several hours of 'preparatory study' by the Princess and for that matter her husband! During the same time frame, Princess Anne [who I am certainly NOT meaning to criticise by this] could have fitted in a reception, an unveiling [recorded in the Court Circular from which Mr O'D tales his figures as 2 separate engagements] before heading off to another nearby place and doing another unveiling and attending another reception [2 more separate engagements]. In this context, I would invite members of TRF to look at a 'typical' day of engagements (as recorded in the Court Circular) for the Princess Royal, and more likely than not, you will see 4, 5 or even 6 engagements listed in a working afternoon!

And I daresay it can be exactly the same with Wiliam and Catherine. To take the royal couple's attendance at The Sun's Military Awards as an example, this took at least a couple of hours and I suspect that the royal couple - much like the Queen before an Investiture - spent some time going through the list of names of the people they would be meeting and familiarising themselves with details about what they had done and why they were being honoured etc, all of which would have taken some time, but only represented by 1 'tick' in Mr O' Donovan's 'box'. [And don't get me started on the late Princess Margaret - whilst some royal engagements tend to overrun - for example, the Duchess of Kent [when she was a full-time working royal] and the late Princess Diana both had the reputation of 'staying as long as was needed' which often led to some engagements overruning, Princess Margaret was famous for rushing through her engagements and 'getting away' well before the scheduled end of the engagement - on one occasion she famously visited a school and stayed 20 minutes instead of the scheduled 60 minutes, leaving an art exhibition un-visited, a school play rehearsal unseen and a choir practice unheard, yet still got the 1 engagement credit in Mr O'D's list.

Incidentally, because of just this sort of difficulty, each year Mr O'D is at pains to state that his work should not be regarded as a 'league table' of hard-working royals.

Hope this helps to place the work of William and Catherine in context.

Alex
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  #31  
Old 01-02-2012, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Diarist View Post
Tim O Donovan's list is very impressive indeed. I hope that Zonk won't delete this, but will move it to another thread if it is deemed too OT here because I think it is an important point to make, but over the years people have pointed out the downside of Tim O Donovan's list is that it is based purely on numbers of types of particular enagements, rather than the time and quality of each engagement. Thus, if William and Catherine spend a whole afternoon at an event, this will be counted only as 'one engagment', whereas another royal could have fitted in several engagements in a similar time frame, yet have them counted separately. ... [snipped]
Thanks for providing detailed information!
I wondered about the engagement count. It is a determinant of a royal efficiency. I think that it is better to spend a whole afternoon at an event than just drop by to quickly unveil something.
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  #32  
Old 01-02-2012, 11:41 AM
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Mr O'Donovan was interviewed, briefly, as part of the BBC's documentary Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work. If you skip forward to the 8:40 mark on this You Tube link you'll see him explaining what he does.



It also continues on Part 3 of the documentary.
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  #33  
Old 01-02-2012, 03:31 PM
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Thank you, Zonk, for expanding this topic to its own thread.

I thought that I therefore would select a 'random' working day in the life of the Princess Royal and then check the Court Circular for that day:


Here is the day I have selected: not a 'special royal occasion' day, just an 'ordinary' working day for Princess Anne: [I have added my count in red]


1st December 2011

BUCKINGHAM PALACE:
The Princess Royal, Patron, Restorative Justice Council, this morning received Mr. Lawrence Kershen (Chairman) and Mrs. Elizabeth Nelson (Director). 1 engagement

Her Royal Highness later opened the Wiener Library Institute of Contemporary History's new premises at 29 Russell Square, London WC1, and was received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London (Sir David Brewer). 1 engagement

The Princess Royal, Director, London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, today attended a Board Meeting at 1 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London E14. 1 engagement


Her Royal Highness, Patron, Riders for Health, this afternoon attended a Reception at the Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London W1. 1 engagement

The Princess Royal, Patron, Spinal Injuries Association, this evening attended the Association's Legal Dinner at Jumeirah Carlton Tower, Cadogan Place, London SW1 1 engagement



I admire the Princess Royal very much indeed, by the way, and acknowledge that she is a very hard working member of the BRF.

Anyway, by Mr O' Donovan's calculations, on 1st December, the Princess Royal had 5 separate engagements. She was certainly very busy that day and indeed worked until the evening. That is quite a workload. I am the first to admit that comparisons are often invidious, but if you look carefully at what she is doing, you can note several points:

1. All the engagements were in London.

2. By Lunchtime, the Princess Royal has completed 3 engagements.

3. Princess Anne does of course have an appartment in BP, and her final engagement, although it involved an evening attendance, was literally under 10 minutes from home - and of course, she has [quite correctly] police clearing the route that she is taking, which would be up to Hyde Park Corner and then down to Knightsbridge. Thus she did not have either a long drive before dinner or afterwards when she returned home at night.

4. The Engagements, although very important in each case, were largely 'pleasant' in tone. HRH's contact was apparently limited to professional people, in 'nice' surroundings and were also presumably quite carefully timed, in order to avoid 'keeping people waiting'.


I am now comparing this in my own mind with one Engagement that I remember when the Duchess of Kent [then a 'full-time working royal'] visited Helen House [it is now Helen and Douglas House] in Oxford, a hospice for life-limited children. The Duchess spent a lot of time there, meeting the children, some of whom were so ill that they did not realise HRH was there, although their parents and their families did. There was a lot of hugging from the Duchess, particularly when the tears flowed. Which they did, quite often. The Duchess also met all the staff, i.e. nurses, physicians and domestic staff. The Duchess stayed for as long as is took to see everyone.

This engagement involved travel from the Duchess' London base and, since it involved suffering children, must have been quite harrowing. It counted as 1 engagement, although HRH would have left early in the morning and not got back to London until quite late.

I must make it very clear that I am not in any way criticising the Princess Royal, and neither am I seeing to 'down play' her role - indeed, she has I am sure had harrowing times during her SCF field visits. What I am trying to do is to highlight how the 'numbers of engagements' does not tell the whole story. On the whole, though, the Princess Royal's Engagements are often said to be 'rather like business meetings' whereas the engagements undertaken by the Duchess of Kent often involved things like illness and similar [the Duchess was at one stage Patron of the Samaritans and also took the full training; although it was never announced publically, she was believed to have actually 'taken her turn' on the Samaritans' phone rota].

I hope that this is of interest to some forum members,

Alex
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  #34  
Old 01-02-2012, 04:12 PM
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Of course the value of Mr O'Donovan's statistics, in so far as they demonstrate how hard-working any member of the Royal Family is, is limited. As Mr O'Donovan states in all his letters to the Times, the Queen spends time everyday going through the so-called 'red boxes'. This is not reflected in these statistics. In addition, in all the documentaries I've seen concerning the Prince of Wales, they show him starting and ending each day going through paperwork for his charities etc. (and writing those dreaded 'black spider memos') which is also not reflected in these figures.

But, I think we can take a broad-based inference from his figures. I think most would agree that the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal are probably the most hard working members of the Royal Family. Particularly given the age of the Queen and Prince Philip.
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  #35  
Old 01-02-2012, 08:43 PM
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I came across this video a couple of weeks ago and I would say it fits into the discussion about the number of engagements Kate will undertake next year: (about 25 seconds in)



The video shows Kate at the media reception at BP talking to people about how she hopes this year will be "a little bit quieter" and her hope to spend more time in Anglesey.

Okay, I don't like to speculate on sound bites or off-the-cuff remarks but I tend to do it anyway. In this instance, I hope I am misunderstanding Kate's words. I am confused as to how 2012 can possibly be quieter than 2011. Of course 2011 had the build-up and the big event that was THE WEDDING, then the high-profile tour, and finally some local engagements here and there. But 2012 for sure has the Jubilee events, the Olympics, and another tour! And one would assume an increase in the number of engagements either with William or solo.

For me, I am okay with the number of engagements (especially including the Canada tour, which I was impressed with) that Kate did in 2011 because I want her to be able to succeed in her Royal life - I hope she gained and continues to gain experience about what the job entails and how to deal with different situations. I want her to be prepared, however, I believe that in 2012 she needs to step it up. Spending more time in Anglesey rather than in London performing engagements is not the way to go in my opinion..
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  #36  
Old 01-02-2012, 11:59 PM
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2012 is going to be a very busy year don't think there is much chance of her hiding away in Wales. Like you I hope it was an off the cuff remark
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  #37  
Old 01-03-2012, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Molly2101 View Post
Wow Charles and Anne are hard working Royals, aren't they?! I am shocked at the small amount from Sophie, though she does attend a few with Edward which probably come under his engagements. Do foreign Royal weddings count as engagements? Philip and Elizabeth work so hard for their age.

Well done, team!

My understanding is that combined engagements count for both parties so if Sophie and Edward attend a function then that counts as 1 each.

I notice that no one has commented on the third busiest member of the RF - the much despised Andrew.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:03 AM
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I noticed that as well. The lack of positive comments for the work that Andrew has done.
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  #39  
Old 01-03-2012, 02:09 AM
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The video shows Kate at the media reception at BP talking to people about how she hopes this year will be "a little bit quieter" and her hope to spend more time in Anglesey.

Okay, I don't like to speculate on sound bites or off-the-cuff remarks but I tend to do it anyway. In this instance, I hope I am misunderstanding Kate's words. I am confused as to how 2012 can possibly be quieter than 2011. Of course 2011 had the build-up and the big event that was THE WEDDING, then the high-profile tour, and finally some local engagements here and there. But 2012 for sure has the Jubilee events, the Olympics, and another tour! And one would assume an increase in the number of engagements either with William or solo.
I have not read that anyone else perceives what I do - but I interpret Kate's body language and general manner in her public engagements thus far - the ones I've seen, the videos, and stills from them - I see her as under enormous strain. When I watch her I feel edgy - she is far from at ease IMO and I say that in the face of a chorus praising her ease and (apparent) joy. I just don't see it. I see moments of ease and joy, of course - but overall no.

Given that we have been told that she and William planned the wedding and did it all 'on their own' - can you imagine the strain of that? Plus, they also 'handled' their Canada tour, too, and visit to the US - weren't we told that? If they are trying to handle everything themselves - think about it - it can't have been a relaxed year.

But the coming year - regardless of all the obvious activity - will be more William and Kate letting others decide and determine and just follow along - because its the Queen's year - its not their stuff - so from Kates's perspective its going to be more relaxed.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:14 AM
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Good analysis, Tyger. From the engagement to The Wedding had to have been an incredibly stressful time for Kate, with the apex being The Wedding itself. Even if it had just been The Wedding that they had to plan, 2011 would be a very big year. Planning things oneself is a big deal; attending someone else's planned events has to be easier.
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