From charity patronages to sporting events to tours overseas, every member of the royal family is kept busy with the causes they champion. But according to newly released figures, there’s one who took on more engagements over the last 12 months than any other: Prince Charles.
Tim O’Donovan, a retired insurance broker who has kept track of royal activity for a staggering 40 years, has calculated that the Prince of Wales carried out 521 engagements in 2019, more than any other member of the family.
He was closely followed by his sister Princess Anne, who typically takes the top spot, and still took part in an impressive 506 official activities this year. The Earl of Wessex completed 308, and the Duke of York 274, prior to publicly stepping down last month.
At 93 years old, Queen Elizabeth II still managed almost 300 appearances, while Prince William and Kate tallied up 220 and 126 respectively.
Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke of Duchess of Sussex, had totals of 201 and 83, although it’s important to note that Meghan was on maternity leave during her pregnancy with baby Archie Harrison for a significant portion of the year, and still managed to squeeze in a stint as the editor of Vogue and Smart Works charity fashion partnership during that time.
O’Donovan uses court circular pages in each edition of The Times and submits his arithmetic to the publication every year.
‘It’s not a competition. I just think it’s important for people to know how much the royal family do,’ he told the Daily Mail, while admitting that his family finds his hobby ‘a bit nutty’. The palace would never publish such figures, on the basis that duty should not be a competition, but O’Donovan simply ‘finds it fascinating’.
Between them, the royal family undertook 3,567 engagements over the past year. Looks like Christmas at Sandringham really was a well-earned break, then.