The bizarre way the queen selects the best housekeeper for the palace

Queen Elizabeth. (PHOTO: Getty/Gallo Images)
Queen Elizabeth. (PHOTO: Getty/Gallo Images)

Cape Town – Her Majesty regularly posts vacancies at none other than Buckingham Palace on the royal family’s official website – and we may have just gotten the biggest tip-off of how to snag a position working for the queen.

In the Channel5 documentary special Sandringham: The Royals at Christmas, viewers got a sneak peek of what it’s like to spend Christmas with the queen. In it, palace recruitment expert, Tracy Waterman, also revealed the very precise – and a little bizarre – test that ensures the queen hires only the best.

According to, Tracy said, "The difference between [a] housekeeper in a five-star hotel and in a royal palace would be attention to detail.

"One of the tests I like to do," she added, "to see if a candidate has [a] potential eye for detail, is to place a dead fly, either in the fireplace or on the carpet. Once the dead fly is placed, I then bring the candidate into the room."

Going through the process, Tracy continued, "I lead them into the room, quite slowly, just giving them a chance to glance at the room, have a little look at what we’ve got inside the room, bringing them to the fireplace, maybe highlighting that we’ve got a beautiful fireplace.

"At this point, I’d expect them to see the dead fly, and hopefully pick it up," she said.

Tracy added that half the candidates usually notice the fly and about one out of ten actually bend down to pick it up. "That’s the special housekeeper!"

Compiled by Bashiera Parker (Sources: Channel24,

(Photo: Getty Images)

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