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The Royal family is hiring a communications assistant at Buckingham Palace

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LONDON — Would anyone want to be doing communications for the British royal family right now? Well, they’re hiring.

The Royal Household — responsible for supporting members of the British royal family — is seeking a communications assistant. The responsibilities for the role, advertised online in recent days, include responding to media inquiries about the work of royal family members and producing social media updates.

What seemed like an ordinary job posting gained huge online attention, as the royal family faces a media crisis — and is unable to shake the firestorm of conspiracy theories regarding the health and whereabouts of Catherine, the Princess of Wales.

“They don’t need a communications assistant, they need a crisis communications specialist who can deliver difficult and sensitive messages. And they need to pay that person way more than this!” Alannah Arrington, a communications specialist in Virginia, posted on X, referring to the posted salary of 25,642.50 pounds per year (about $32,500).

Some joked that they would do the job free just to find out what was going on amid a frenzy over Catherine that’s now known as “Kate-gate” in the United Kingdom. According to the LinkedIn post, at least 100 people have already applied for the position.

While this job is posted for Buckingham Palace — and not Kensington Palace, the official London residence of Prince William and Catherine — the posting notes that the royal communications team members promote “the work, role, relevance and value of the Royal Family to a worldwide audience.” Buckingham Palace on Thursday declined to offer any further details on the job posting.

Many on social media noted that the recent drama speaks to how high stakes managing the image of the royal family can be, a theme the job posting itself also stressed. “The reaction to our work is always high-profile, and so reputation and impact will be at the forefront of all that you do,” it said.

While the palace has said that Catherine, who was last seen at a public engagement in December, was recovering at home after planned abdominal surgery, questions about “where is Kate?” have gripped much of the nation in recent weeks and made international headlines.

The interest in Catherine devolved into a complete media crisis when the royals released a photo of the princess and her children on Mother’s Day earlier this month, only for it to be retracted by global news agencies as it emerged the picture had been edited, in breach of their editorial standards.

Catherine later issued an apology for any “confusion” after editing the photo, which only fueled more conspiracy theories.

Interest is so high that Britain’s privacy and data protection watchdog said Wednesday that it was assessing a potential breach of Catherine’s medical records during her stay at a private London hospital. Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer on Thursday urged people to leave the princess alone.

According to the London-based job advertisement, key responsibilities of the communications assistant include assisting senior colleagues with “proactive and reactive communications,” facilitating “media access to Royal engagements at Royal residences and other locations” and providing “logistical support to the media and the Royal Communications team.”

It also states the individual will likely work on state visits, ceremonial events and royal engagements. The role also requires some travel within the United Kingdom — which entered a recession last year. Across the country people have grappled with rising costs of food and fuel, though Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said this week he is hopeful 2024 will be the year “the economy bounces back.”

Scores of people on social media slammed the palace for not paying more generously — especially at a time when all eyes are on Britain’s royal household. Some noted that the pay was “not very much, considering the PR stress” the royals have navigated in recent weeks and the economic challenges Britons face.

The pay, for a 37.5-hour workweek, is more than the United Kingdom’s typical national minimum wage, which would equate to about 20,300 pounds per year ($25,720). It appears to be on par with many U.K. government roles for early career officials, where administrative assistants can earn about 21,380 pounds ($27,087) per year. Many public sector jobs pay less than their private sector counterparts, but come with decent pension programs or vacation days.

The job advertisement boasts of “a generous benefits package,” including complimentary lunch on-site at Buckingham Palace and at least 25 days annual leave. Employees are also offered a 20 percent discount at Royal Collection Trust Shop, which sells myriad items including traditional jams and marmalades.

And those who want to work at Buckingham Palace, but aren’t sure about braving the press, don’t have to lose heart either — the royal household is actively recruiting for other roles there, including a pastry sous chef and a furniture conservator.

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