What Does the Royal Family Actually Do?

Oprah’s explosive tell-all with Meghan and Harry was revealing, to say the least. Careful not to mention names, the couple admitted to feeling both silenced and betrayed by the royal family when their support was needed most. We learned that Meghan was denied treatment for her declining mental health and that comments were made about the color of Archie’s skin. For fear of history repeating itself, Harry knew leaving England was the safest option for his growing family.

The two-hour special left viewers with all sorts of burning questions. If you’re wondering what royal duties the couple left behind, keep reading to find out.

Let’s start with the Queen.

“In a monarchy, a king or queen is Head of State. The British Monarchy is known as a constitutional monarchy. This means that, while The Sovereign is Head of State, the ability to make and pass legislation resides with an elected Parliament” the Royal family’s website explains.

So, Queen Elizabeth II doesn’t have a political role—in fact, she’s expected to remain neutral and can’t vote. However, she’s responsible for representing British values and fostering unity among the commonwealth:

“As Head of State, The Monarch undertakes constitutional and representational duties which have developed over one thousand years of history. In addition to these State duties, The Monarch has a less formal role as ‘Head of Nation’. The Sovereign acts as a focus for national identity, unity, and pride; gives a sense of stability and continuity; officially recognizes success and excellence, and supports the ideal of voluntary service.”


The Queen’s day-to-day is filled with various “engagements.” Insider says the catch-all term includes activities such as hosting heads of state, taking diplomatic trips, throwing parties at palaces, opening new sessions of Parliament and presenting citizens with awards.

Charity work is another important duty and one that’s close to the Queen’s heart. As of April 2016, she was a patron of 600 charities!

And the rest of the family?

Essentially, the other royals are expected to be where the Queen can’t. The family works as a team, attending 2,000 engagements, entertaining 70,000 guests and answering 100,000 letters every year, Insider reveals.

In addition to supporting 3,000 charitable organizations, working members of the royal family often establish their own.

To learn more about the extended royal family, check out our list of 5 royals with day jobs that might surprise you!

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