Special perks for Duke of Cambridge: Who but Prince William gets a year’s paternity leave?

He is taking a year off at a time when millions of people are struggling to hold on to their jobs

Share

Here is a piece of “breaking news”: a man has left his job. He did his last shift five days ago, and is thinking about what to do next. He is going to think about it for 12 months and an entire troupe of people will follow him on our behalf, bringing us “live” updates. These will consist mostly of someone standing outside an imposing building, using lots of high-sounding words such as “duty” and “public service”. So hats off to whoever wrote this headline in Friday’s Daily Mirror: “Prince William has left the RAF – but we’re none the wiser on what the future holds for him”.

I don’t know if I’m right in detecting a hint of irritation towards another royal non-story, but elsewhere correspondents were doing their best. Lack of hard information has never stopped royal reporters leaping for bones thrown by the Windsor family, and then rushing back to newsrooms with their tails wagging. William is said to have embarked on a “transitional year” which will allow him to “focus on royal duties” while “keeping his options open” and doing a bit of charity work. (Note to the unemployed: you might want to use that line about keeping your options open next time you’re asked why you haven’t found a job.)

Monarchists always say I’ve overlooked how much time the royals spend on official engagements. So I’ve looked it up: Prince William carried out 88 engagements last year and the figure isn’t expected to increase much until he becomes a “full-time working royal”. That’s roughly one every four days, which doesn’t seem very onerous to me, but then my idea of work is different from that of the royals.

Incidentally, his wife has been described as “on maternity leave”, which makes me wonder about her job description. On leave from what? Is “duchess” a full-time position? That’s another one to try at the Jobcentre.

Almost every “news” story featuring the Royal Family is a combination of non-event and smart PR, with a bit of celebrity gossip thrown in. The usual standards of journalism don’t apply, leaving us ignorant about the Windsors’ finances, politics and influence.

The Government is so worried about the political bias displayed in Prince Charles’s letters to ministers that the Attorney-General, Dominic Grieve, has blocked publication of even a tiny sample; he fears disclosure would damage Charles’s future role as king. This is one of the few royal “stories” worthy of the name, but all we get most of the time is guff about how hard it is for the poor royals to balance “duties” and private life.

So here is the real news: Prince William is taking a year off at a time when millions of people are struggling to hold on to their jobs, if they have one, and pay their bills. It’s another example of breath-taking self-indulgence within the ranks of the Royal Family, but most royal correspondents would stand on their heads rather than say so.

politicalblonde.com; twitter.com/@polblonde

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: .NET Web Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity for a t...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£14616 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading specialist in Electronic Ci...

Recruitment Genius: Pre-Press / Mac Operator / Artworker - Digital & Litho Print

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: With year on year growth and a reputation for ...

Recruitment Genius: Project Manager - Live Virtual Training / Events

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Manager is required t...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

If I were Prime Minister: I would hasten the process of devolution to the major city regions

Charles Handy
 

FIFA awarded the World Cup to a state where slavery is actively facilitated

Aidan McQuade
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003