Don't forget the day job: role models for Royals

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The Independent Online
If Prince Edward's efforts to find himself a really useful job appear to be taking an interminable time to germinate, he can at least claim, with some justification, to lack inspiring role models.

The glittering Grimaldi dynasty of Monaco has managed one singularly short-lived pop star career in the form of Princess Stephanie (above). Mostly, though, this family is to be seen spending its time diving off speed boats. Prince Joachim of Denmark met his British-born wife while working for a shipping company, but he is most often described as a "trained landowner" (he inherited, at a tender age, an estate and a castle).

The royal progeny of the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway are variously occupied improving themselves at institutions ranging from riding school to university.

As ever, the armed forces provide a helpful refuge for other royal youngsters - Prince Nicholas of Greece, for example, served in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. His younger sister took the Diana Spencer route, working in a London nursery.

The most encouraging examples of honest endeavour are offered by the young princesses of Spain: Princess Cristina works for Unesco, and her sister Elena (left) is a teacher. Their brother and heir to the throne, Prince Felipe, has no career as such but is said by the Spanish press to be doing a splendid job as "one of the sexiest men in the world". This is not an ambition Prince Edward would be advised to pursue.

Come the revolution, their lack of sensible qualifications might prove a hindrance to any of our own Royal Family seeking employment. But even qualifications are no guarantee of success. The Duke of Gloucester is a fully trained architect but does not practise: this might help to explain why his financially embarrassed family had to move out of their estate last year and slum it in Kensington Palace.

DECCA AITKENHEAD

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