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Should Meghan have hired a Royal Virtual Assistant?

Palace reports this week say another of the Duchess of Sussex’s assistants have quit. Rumours swirled of difficult, demanding behaviour. This means the whole team of 4 hired to help her have now moved on in less than a year. Would she have done better with a Royal Virtual Assistant?

Kensington Palace - Royal Virtual Assistant

From a Personal Assistant point of view, I don’t think this is particularly fair. PAs move on all the time. Especially when you consider:

  • The team was hired by Buckingham Palace without really knowing the Duchess. Being a PA is such a personal role, you have to gel with the person and have them “get” what you are after. That’s hard when you incorporate such different cultures as Hollywood and the Royal Family.
  • The Sussexes have just decided to move 45 minutes out of London. Particularly with a 24/7 role, a long commute is almost impossible – you would have to move with them. Relocate an office job 45 minutes away and most people would quit, and no one would raise an eyebrow.
  • Meghan as a Royal Firm newbie probably did need an old hand to show her the ropes. It’s a strange culture – they all curtsey to the Queen when they first see her each day; each press release goes through a series of courtiers; the Queen has a veto on pretty much everything you do (including what you name your children). In any role, once you figure out how stuff works, it’s odd to keep on your predecessor’s PA. You want “your” person in there. So having a transition period isn’t unusual, but ultimately the staff will change over time.
  • It’s really not very well paid. Sure, having the Royal family on your CV increases your future salary considerably. But whilst in their employ, you earn really quite modest amounts compared to what you would earn commercially. For example, their receptionist of Buckingham Palace only gets paid £23k, which is below the average of £26k, and you would expect such a high profile business to command a premium at the upper end of £32k average receptionist salaries. Even the most senior Royal aides get paid under £150k, which is pretty poor for London salaries necessitating 24/7 service.
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The case for a Royal Virtual Assistant:

You have to question whether hiring a royal virtual assistant would have served her better…

  • It’s not location dependent, so relocation to Windsor wouldn’t have changed their working life.
  • It is far more cost effective than hiring a permanent member of staff, and the team can be expanded to fit the workload, so you get high quality results without paying for time you don’t need.
  • VAs because they are used to working remotely with people are quick to pick up on nuances and working styles. Adapting to different clients is one of the essential elements of being a VA.
  • We are the bastion of discretion – confidentiality is key to what we do.

So Meghan, if you choose to contact us… I am waiting for the call! I’d love to be the first Royal Virtual Assistant – would you?

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