Power Players

From Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to Wills and Kate: Which royals worked harder in 2018

Stephen Pond | Getty Images

Being a royal might sound like a pretty cushy job (indeed, it comes with access to a luxurious royal train and expensive international travel). However, members of the monarchy are expected to do much more than just hang out at Kensington Palace — the British Royal family is required to carry out a number of royal duties throughout the year, from attending things like funerals and charitable events to presenting honors and hosting receptions.

But some royals apparently work harder than others.

For decades, retired British insurance broker Tim O'Donovan has been tallying the royals' public appearances. O'Donovan, according to the book "Her Majesty: Queen Elizabeth II and Her Court," methodically goes through the Court Circular (the official record that lists the engagements carried out by the monarchy) every day of the year, totaling up the results and listing them in a letter to U.K. newspaper The Times, which the paper then publishes annually.

By O'Donovan's recently published 2018 count, among Prince William, Prince Harry, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle (arguably the most high-profile, younger royals), Prince William put in the most work, attending 150 engagements in the United Kingdom and 70 engagements on official, overseas tours.

Prince Harry trails William with 108 engagements in the U.K. and 85 overseas. Meanwhile, pregnant Meghan Markle, who officially became a royal in May, had 45 engagements in the U.K. and 51 overseas. Kate Middleton (who gave birth to Prince Louis in April and is mom to Prince George, 5, and Princess Charlotte, 3) attended 64 engagements in the U.K. and 23 overseas, according to O'Donovan and The Times.

Prince Charles clocked 398 total engagements in the U.K and 109 overseas, and the Queen, despite being 92 years old, attended 283 engagements in the United Kingdom in 2018 (although no reported engagements overseas).

In his published letter, O'Donovan notes, "Except for Christmas Day and Easter Day, the Queen never has a day off...."

But the hardest working royal in the monarchy goes to Princess Royal Anne (Prince Charles' sister). In 2018, 68-year-old Anne attended 447 total engagements in the U.K. and 71 overseas, according to O'Donovan and The Times.

Still, O'Donovan cautions against sizing the royals up against each other based on the number of their public engagements, noting that, "All engagements differ as to time and content and there is also the time taken in preparation to consider, whether it be a visit, investiture or speech." Plus, it doesn't take into account other obligations, like parenting.

The role of the Royal Family is to assist the Queen in carrying out her duties and to also carry out work in areas of public and charitable services. Overall, the Royal Family as a whole carries out over 2,000 official engagements, entertains over 70,000 people at dinners, lunches, receptions and garden parties at royal residences, and receives and answers 10,000 letters,CNBC Make It previously reported.

Don't miss: No selfies, social media or dark manis: The royal 'rules' Meghan Markle is supposed to follow

Like this story? Subscribe to CNBC Make It on YouTube!