You Couldn’t Make It Up Department (3): New hard-working Aides-de-Camp
From The Times Court Circular, 31 July 2004:
"Her Majesty has been pleased to appoint The Earl of Wessex and Rear-Admiral Timothy Laurence as Personal Aides-de-Camp with effect from August 1, 2004.â€?
I confess to being a little vague about the precise duties of Personal Aides-de-Camp to The Queen, and entirely ignorant of the scale of their, ah, emoluments, but it’s good to know that the noble Earl, aka The Prince Edward (he gets a capital T for ‘The’ as a son of the monarch), and the husband of the Princess Royal (that’s Princess Anne, remember?), whose promotion from Commander RN to Rear-Admiral inexplicably escaped my notice, have new jobs that should keep them off the streets and out of trouble. Come to think of it, wasn’t Commander Tim an Equerry when Princess Anne first came across him? Presumably going from Equerry to Aide-de-Camp is yet another promotion, or so we must hope. If it is, not many people know that.
Nor, I suspect, is it widely known that The Earl of Wessex â€“ don’t bother looking for Wessex on the map: it doesn’t exist â€“ in addition to his fairy-tale title of (capital T) The Prince Edward, is also His Royal Highness, and Duke-of-Edinburgh-in-waiting, i.e. as in ‘waiting’ for his Dad to go to his long rest. Some people have all the luck.
Personal Aides de Camp are unpaid and are purely honorary titles. The only effect is that the recipient – normally a close relative of the Sovereign – gets to wear auiguillettes (the gold strings from the shoulder) on their military uniform.
I’d also note that Tim Laurence’s promotion from commander to rear admiral was in accordance with normal career structures in the navy. He was a captain, then a commodore, before his promotion. I would think his connection with the royal family would have been far more likely to harm his career than aid it. Remember he was appointed equerry to the Queen because he was aready identified as a high-flyer.
I appreciate that clarification. My apologies to the gallant Rear-Admiral!