The Queen Is Looking for a New Housekeeper—And the Gig Could Come With a Room at Buckingham Palace

Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images
Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

If all the hullabaloo for the upcoming Downton Abbey movie has given you a hankering for a career in the British hospitality industry, how about a housekeeping gig for Queen Elizabeth II herself? She’s looking for a full-time “housekeeping assistant,” and the position boasts some serious perks.

The job’s primary location will be either Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle, and you can opt to live wherever you’re stationed. Each residence offers unique opportunities for royal family sightings: according to Insider, the Queen mainly lives at Buckingham Palace, but Harry and Meghan live in Frogmore Cottage, which is on the Windsor grounds. The job listing mentions that you’ll also travel to other royal residences.

Accepting the live-in option will result in a salary adjustment, but the on-site amenities alone might make up for it. Buckingham Palace boasts a staff gym, swimming pool, and squash and tennis courts.

No housekeeping background? No problem. Although previous housekeeping or hospitality experience would be an advantage, it’s not a requirement; management cares more about “your proactive approach and ability to tackle new challenges.” Also named are several soft skills needed for the job, but they’re pretty similar to what you’d expect to see in any standard job listing: attention to detail, high standards, time management skills, ability to work with a team and meet deadlines, efficiency, and good old-fashioned enthusiasm.

Though you’ll spend a fair amount of time on behind-the-scenes cleaning, you’ll also have the opportunity to “take care of guests and work front-of-house to support functions and events.”

The starting salary isn’t listed, but the job comes with 33 vacation days, a 15 percent employer contribution pension scheme, and a benefits package. The application is open through September 15, and you can apply here. (Maybe brush up on these etiquette rules first, though.)

[h/t Insider]

You Could Win an Inn on Swan’s Island, Maine, for Just $99 and an Original Essay

A lighthouse in Swan's Island, Maine.
A lighthouse in Swan's Island, Maine.
Timothy Krause via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

For just $99 and a short, well-crafted essay, you could live out all your Gilmore Girls-inspired dreams and own a quaint New England inn.

The Harbor Watch Inn, located six miles off the coast of Maine on Swan’s Island, has two regular motel rooms with basic appliances, two rooms with full kitchens and balconies overlooking Burnt Coat Harbor, and a furnished one-bedroom apartment that the owner could either live in or rent out.

The island itself is pretty much the epitome of a sleepy New England town. It’s only accessible by ferry, 350 people live there all year, and the website specifies that “there are no McDonald’s, no strip malls, and no movie theaters.” There is, however, a lighthouse, a marine museum, hiking trails, and quiet, uncrowded beaches that might make you want to become the 351st permanent resident.

If owning your own piece of the tiny, water-locked paradise sounds like heaven, you can enter for a chance to win the Harbor Watch Inn here through March 31. In addition to answering a few questions about your experience, skills, and feelings about the small-town atmosphere, you’ll have to explain in 350 words or fewer why you believe you’ll succeed as an innkeeper and what you’d change about the inn.

For anyone willing to pen multiple essays and pay the $99 application fee several times over, go for it: According to a press release, there’s no limit to the number of applications one person can submit. They’ll all be evaluated by a panel of judges—led by retired school teachers—and the winner will be announced by mid-May. Not only will that winner get the property, they’ll also be awarded $25,000 to help them improve the inn and establish their business.

Contests like this one have gained popularity in recent years as a way to sell businesses to people who wouldn’t be able to afford them otherwise, but they don’t always go exactly according to plan—find out about the Humble Heart Farm, The Hardwick Gazette, and five other property prize stories here.

Fit to Feed a Queen? Buckingham Palace Is Looking for a Traveling Sous Chef

Royal chefs prepare hors d'oeuvres in the Buckingham Palace kitchens.
Royal chefs prepare hors d'oeuvres in the Buckingham Palace kitchens.
Nick Ansell, WPA Pool/Getty Images

If your culinary prowess makes you fit to feed a queen, now’s your chance to prove it—Queen Elizabeth II is looking for a new sous chef.

Food & Wine reports that applicants are required to have a background in premier catering and training in classical French cuisine, so this isn’t the best role for anyone whose abilities stop at toast and cereal. Experienced chefs with strong leadership and communication skills, on the other hand, should definitely check it out.

The role is based at Buckingham Palace, but you’ll also be called upon to cook at other royal residences around the country. And, while the head chef is technically in charge, it looks like the sous chef will have plenty of opportunity to dream up new menu items, direct the kitchen staff, and organize large-scale catering events.

Though the listing doesn’t mention what the salary is, it’s probably not a jaw-dropping figure. The Daily Mail reports that it could be up to £33,000 (about $43,000) per year, and past royal chef positions haven’t even cracked $30,000. Having said that, it boasts some impressive perks, including 33 vacation days, access to Buckingham Palace’s many recreational amenities—a gym, swimming pool, book club, and choir, to name a few—and the option to live at the palace. Your salary will be adjusted if you decide to become a full-time resident, but meals are included, too.

The application is open through February 12, and you can find out more here.

[h/t Food & Wine]