Sophie and Edward hunt for help managing ‘busy working schedules’ as workload snowballs

Sophie Wessex thanks St John's Ambulance volunteers

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The Royal Household is looking for a programme co-ordinator to be based at Bagshot Park, the working residence of Sophie and Prince Edward. The main duties of this new aide, as shown by the job advert published on the household’s official website, will be to plan, co-ordinate and liaise in order to support the Wessexes’ work.

The job description read: “Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Wessex have busy working schedules in the UK and abroad in support of Her Majesty The Queen and their own Patronages and areas of focus.

“As a Programme Co-ordinator based at Bagshot Park, Surrey, you’ll be part of the small team responsible for the planning, coordination and circulation of TRH’s official programmes and briefing materials.

“You will liaise with internal stakeholders and official engagement organisers, shaping and assisting with the design of visits and engagements, playing an important role in ensuring that the final programme is to a high standard.”

The role will also demand the new aide to provide administrative and logistical support to the couple ahead of their visits and trips outside the palace walls.

Managing travel arrangements, finding accommodation and being aware of any visa requirements are all key duties the new hire will need to carry out.

Moreover, the role includes “responding to general enquiries and preparing correspondence.”

This permanent, full-time role pays between £24,500 to £26,500 per annum, dependent upon experience, the Royal Household wrote.

The ideal candidate will have previous experience in a similar role and be a skilled administrator.

Additionally, they will possess “excellent IT and written skills, and a meticulous eye for detail, you will be confident accurately drafting varied correspondence and documents”.

Drawing up more details about the qualities the new hire should possess, the job advert read: “You’ll also be efficient, extremely organised and able to prioritise multiple tasks.

“With confident and professional verbal communication, you’ll liaise easily with a wide range of individuals and organisations.

“Enthusiastic and with abundant initiative, you will enjoy a varied workload and working collaboratively as part of a small team.”

The search for a new hire at the office of Sophie and Prince Edward comes as the Earl and Countess face a bigger workload and new roles.

After Prince Andrew returned his military and royal patronages to the Queen, the sovereign is expected to redistribute some of them among the remaining working members of the Firm.

At the moment, there are 11 senior royals supporting the Crown and the Queen with their work – most of whom are aged over 70s.

The working royal ranks count four of the Queen’s first cousins – Princess Alexandra, aged 85, the Duke of Kent, aged 86, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester – aged 77 and 75 respectively.

Working royals closer to the throne are Prince Charles, aged 73, his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, aged 74 and 71-year-old Princess Anne.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Wessexes are the younger among the royals currently carrying out royal duties.

Kate has already been tipped to become the next Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, according to sources reported by the Sunday Times.

Sophie and Prince Edward had been tipped as the two working royals that would need to increase their workload further also in January 2020, after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their intention to step back as senior members of the Firm.

In June that year, Sophie commented on the renewed attention of the public and the media on her work.

Asked whether the public would see “more of her”, Sophie told the Times: “There are only so many hours in the day.

“People may pay more attention to what I am doing, but I remain as busy as I have ever been.”

The Countess’ work is focused on a series of areas, including preventable blindness, conflict-related sexual violence and the military.

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