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Royal household staff records now online

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In celebration of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, findmypast.co.uk, in association with the Royal Archives, has launched the Royal Household Staff Lists, a detailed collection made available online for the first time.

Previously only accessible at Windsor Castle by appointment, these rarely viewed records cover royal residences across the UK including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and St James’s Palace, and include 50,000 staff records from the reign of King Charles II to King George V between 1660 and 1924. With details such as name, occupation, age, length of service and salary, the records paint a vivid picture of life in a royal court, revealing what it takes to run a royal household and the wide range of duties involved in serving the British monarchy.

Debra Chatfield, family historian at findmypast.co.uk, said: ‘To be able to view these records online for the first time is incredibly exciting - not only for people worldwide with an interest in the British Monarchy, but also for anyone wanting to confirm family rumours about connections to those who worked for the Royal Household. With such a broad range of trades and occupations spanning four centuries of royal household history, almost anyone could find they’re connected to those who served the Crown!’

A reigning monarch typically had 1,000 staff in the royal household. The biggest department was the Lord Chamberlain’s department, which had on average 700 staff and was responsible for the ceremonial and social life of the Court. Traditionally, employees in this department included the ‘above stairs’ servants such as pages, craftsmen, chaplains, physicians, musicians, watermen and Yeomen of the Guard. There is also a number of fabulous occupation titles listed among the royal household staff:

  • Chocolate Maker to the Queen
  • Yeoman of the Mouth to Her Majesty Queen Mary in the Pantry
  • Necessary Woman to the Corridor and Entrance Hall
  • Keeper of the Lions in the Tower
  • Moletaker
  • Master of the Game of Cock Fighting
  • Groom of the Removing Wardrobe
  • Groom of the Stole
  • Strewer of Herbs
  • Laundress of the Body Linen
The Royal Household Staff records can be searched for free here. Transcripts and scanned images of the original documents can be viewed with PayAsYouGo credits or a Full subscription.

For more Royal Archives news, click here.

Find out how your ancestors celebrated Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee with our article in the June issue of Family Tree. Plus, enjoy the jubilee jamboree with our 60 must-search family history sources.

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