A study shows the number of duties the Royal Family has fulfilled with Prince William the only member of The Firm to have completed more duties this year than in 2019
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have steadied the ship in a rocky year for a monarchy running out of working royals, a study shows.
A combination of Covid, an increasingly elderly generation of royals and the loss of senior members of the Firm has meant the Windsors have undertaken less than 60% of the engagements they were honouring two years ago.
In total, the Royal Family fulfilled 2,065 duties in 2021, a 35% rise on 2020 but just 59.5% of the 2019 tally.
Prince William is the only royal to have completed more duties (227) this year than in 2019, analysis by Canadian researcher Patricia Treble shows.
And while the Duchess of Cambridge might have attended one fewer event than last year (115), hers was the smallest duty drop from 2019. She has been widely praised for stepping up to the plate with some high-profile projects and campaigns that required detailed planning over the past 12 months.
Ms Treble said of William and Kate: “Sure, their overall level of engagements hasn’t changed that much but that’s actually news, as the other senior royals have experienced large drops in their tallies during the pandemic.”
The Queen, who lost her husband Prince Philip and has been plagued by ill health and worries over Covid, undertook 182 engagements in 2021.
This was compared to 127 in 2020 and 291 the year before.
In the past few years, Prince Charles has tended to do the largest number of engagements but Princess Anne has worked the most number of days.
This year Anne took the top spot for both, doing 10 more engagements at 381 But even she was down 22% on her pre-pandemic total of 486, with Charles’ tally of duties falling by nearly a third to 371.
Ms Treble said the drop in royal engagements was due to the difficulty of arranging visits during the pandemic.
But it could also be blamed on the Queen scaling back duties, Harry and Meghan turning their backs on Britain and Prince Andrew retiring from public life after his disastrous TV interview about his friendship with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Ms Treble also suggested it was a pointer to the future of a slimmed-down monarchy, with sources seeing no sign of younger royals such as Andrew’s daughters or Edward’s children being brought in to help bolster the ranks.
She said: “Obviously the upheaval generated by the pandemic during the last two years has meant that direct year-to-year comparisons between 2021 and pre-pandemic years can’t be made.
“However, one could infer that trends revealed by the pandemic are likely to continue, especially as the older royals undertake fewer engagements.”