The work of royals around the world often includes the headline-grabbing photo opportunities of ceremonial occasions or public appearances. 

For many modern royals, simply performing royal duties is their day job. These roles can include a wide range of engagements, such as giving speeches, opening new buildings, departments or hospital wings, acting as an ambassador for a charity, or doing a meet-&-greet with the public. 

There is also a responsibility for royals to improve relations and public awareness in support of the monarchy, as well as cultivating international relations around the world, in support of world peace and political harmony. 

These royal duties and good works are not usually paid occupations in the traditional sense. The work of the various members of the royal families is part of their duty as a royal, and their income is usually funded as part of the country’s financial contributions to the monarchy. This is sometimes called the Royal Purse and is often funded via income from taxpayers. 

Working Royals

There are some royals, however, who hold traditional jobs in that they turn up to a 9-5 role (or similar) and receive a salary for their work.

In modern society, it is increasingly common to see royals taking on day jobs rather than relying solely on their royal incomes. This shift is in line with more modern sensibilities, in contrast to the past when it would have been deemed unthinkable for a high-ranking royal to take on a profession or everyday job. 

These days though, it’s often regarded as admirable and appropriate for royals to pursue a career in the public work sector. And as the global marketplaces increasingly open up the world of trade and commerce, it’s becoming less uncommon to come across members of the world’s royalty in the everyday business world. 

Here are some of the everyday jobs of some of the world’s royals who have chosen a non-royal occupation, either in addition to their regal duties, or as a temporary career choice before returning to a more traditional royal role. 

Prince Nikolai (Denmark) – Fashion Model

Perhaps one of the most unusual jobs for a modern royal is that of a high-fashion model. This was the path chosen by Prince Nikolai of Denmark, despite being a high-ranking member of the Danish Royal Family. 

It’s believed that Prince Nikolai is not planning to devote his entire working life to modeling or the world of high fashion, remarking that it was more of a temporary job, rather than a career. He has also spoken of his desire to continue his education, in particular his business studies. 

It’s both refreshing and inspiring to witness Prince Nikolai’s unconventional career choices as a modern young royal. While he may yet go on to assume a more traditional royal role in later years, he is capitalizing on his status and striking good looks to advance his high-profile modeling work with prestigious brands such as the iconic luxury fashion label, Burberry. 

Charlotte Casiraghi (Monaco) – Fashion Brand Ambassador

Casiraghi at the gala awards for the Global Champions Tour in Valencia
Casiraghi at the gala awards for the Global Champions Tour in Valencia – Juan Jose Alvarez Gomez, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco, and niece to the current reigning monarch, Prince Albert, Caroline is another modern royal opting for the high fashion world rather than the traditional duties of a high-profile royal. 

Alongside modeling work for luxury designer brands such as Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, Charlotte has recently taken on the very modern role of Brand Ambassador for the iconic fashion label, Chanel. 

Being the granddaughter of the beautiful Hollywood legend and beloved Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, Charlotte brings both regal glamor and movie-star looks to her unusual royal role. 

Prince Charles (UK) – Organic Produce Business

Even though Prince Charles is the heir to the British throne, he has long been very outspoken about his love of organic gardening and sustainable farming methods, a passion that he has channeled into a thriving brand and business on his Duchy of Cornwall estate. 

The English prince has been an advocate for eco-friendly practices for many decades, long before the idea became a mainstream topic and it has clearly been a lifelong vocation to use his position to advocate his cause. The result is a range of organic produce that has been made available in a number of local outlets as well as for private homes. 

In his role as an organic farmer, Prince Charles is not surprisingly more of an overseer and consultant rather than working in the fields 9-5, and his job as the head of this thriving commercial venture is in addition to his more traditional royal duties. 

Yet it’s clear that alongside his role as heir to the throne, he takes his position as an organic farmer very seriously, having devoted a good deal of his working life to this particular passion and vocation. 

Prince William (UK) – Air Ambulance Pilot

Prince Charles’ work ethic may also have influenced his son’s career choices, as both Prince William and Prince Harry have pursued occupations outside of their royal roles. 

Both princes embarked on military careers, in the tradition of many royals before them. Prince William also worked as an Air Ambulance Pilot for a short period, before assuming a more conventional role as a high-ranking member of the British Royal Family, ie global ambassadorship, public appearances and charity works, alongside his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. 

There’s little doubt that the role of a modern royal is very different from the expectations of times past. In previous centuries, it would have been regarded as unseemly for a person of royal birth to take on a common occupation. In some countries, it was even illegal for royals and nobles to undertake manual labor. 

Yet, with the changing times, the modern royals are bridging the gap between the monarchy and the everyday worlds of business and industry. Far from bringing the monarchies and royal families into disrepute, these enterprising and pioneering royals are performing a kind of contemporary ambassadorship, that of bringing the role of royals firmly into the 21st century.