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Weird Royal rules

(44 Posts)
Dylant1234 Fri 29-Jan-21 10:51:39

I’ve read a couple of articles recently where it was claimed that when the royal household is interviewing for cleaners or housekeepers they place a dead fly in a fairly prominent position, such as a mantelpiece, to see the interviewee’s reaction. If they obviously notice the fly that’s good but if they go and pick it up they’ve pretty well got the job!
Am I the only person who would consider such behaviour incredibly rude - much as a visitor to ones home would be if they ran their finger along the mantelpiece looking for dust?!?

cornishpatsy Fri 29-Jan-21 11:27:16

I think it is a good way of checking an applicants eye for detail.

ginny Fri 29-Jan-21 11:30:03

Dylant. I agree with you. Although if a visitor was that bothered about MY dust, I’d give them a duster to finish off the job !

Anniebach Fri 29-Jan-21 11:31:08

How can they be called royal rules , does a member of the royal family carry out the interviews ?

Blossoming Fri 29-Jan-21 11:34:39

No I wouldn’t go and pick up a dead fly, eeuw! Then again I wouldn’t apply for a job with them grin

grandtanteJE65 Sun 31-Jan-21 10:21:39

I wonder if this isn't a myth?

Some people, both royal and otherwise, may do this. After all some Victorian householders left loose change lying around to test a new housemaid's honesty.

It never struck me as being a nice thing to do.

If I were applying for the job, I would probably say, "You certainly do need new help. There is a dead fly on the window-sill." I would not go and remove it, but I might ask where they kept the dust-pan and brush, so I could deal with it.

Urmstongran Sun 31-Jan-21 10:29:26

I read somewhere that coloured nail polish is a no-no. The royal ladies all have short French manicures or a nude pink. Maybe that’s why they love wearing gloves - perhaps they are wearing navy blue or purple polish underneath them!

EllanVannin Sun 31-Jan-21 10:29:38

Oh, I don't know. Matron used to run her finger along the window-sills and the tops of bedsteads, saying, " a job worth doing is worth doing properly". It was us cadets who were responsible for those areas---cleaners for the floors, which were wooden and splintery in places where you'd spot the odd remains of a mop.

Calendargirl Sun 31-Jan-21 10:30:08

It’s not a myth. On a Royal programme, it showed the head housekeeper at BP or wherever demonstrating the ‘dead fly’ test.

timetogo2016 Sun 31-Jan-21 10:39:56

If it`s not a myth it`s a bloody stupid thing to do.
It could be interpreted as being nosey if your`e looking around
and not at the person interviewing you imo.

nadateturbe Sun 31-Jan-21 11:23:04

Dylant1234 I read this article yesterday and thought exactly the same thing. If I noticed it I would be polite and ignore it. What a stupid thing to do!

Smileless2012 Sun 31-Jan-21 13:29:28

Mr. S. used to run his finger along my mum's furniture looking for dust because he knew he wouldn't find anygrin.

Kittye Sun 31-Jan-21 13:53:04

Why would anyone want to be at the beck and call of the over privileged is beyond me. And for a pittance too. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Elegran Sun 31-Jan-21 14:01:50

Is this being reported as a recent policy? Similar tactics have been reported to be used since Victorian days, at least, by ladies (or more likely their housekeepers) keeping tabs on the servants. One good story is of a new housemaid lifting a carpet to sweep effectively under it, and finding a coin placed under the very centre - obviously to check on a) whether she lifted the carpet to sweep properly, and b) whether she pocketed the coin. She turned the tables by fetching some glue and sticking it firmly down before putting the carpet back down over it. She never heard any more about the incident - and she wasn't tested again.

Elegran Sun 31-Jan-21 14:09:10

A similar story. My grandmother worked for a while in a guesthouse. She discovered that when the owner served fish, the same piece from an "empty" plate was turned over and served to another guest as though a fresh piece. As Granny was putting this down in front of its second owner, she informed the guest of what had happened. All hell broke loose and the guest left. Granny rapidly followed, sacked without a reference.

Eloethan Sun 31-Jan-21 14:32:44

Who would want to work with them when they are, apparently, paid quite badly? I suppose some people do it for the supposed prestige.

Elegran Good for your granny - very brave and principled.

Eloethan Sun 31-Jan-21 14:34:02

If they use that interview technique (ie the dead fly), they won't be able to use it now will they. Anyway, I can't imagine why anyone would think it proper to pick up a dead fly when they are in someone else's space/home.

Elegran Sun 31-Jan-21 14:55:57

Eloethan Brave and principled, but not a good move for an unskilled domestic servant in about 1910. Without a reference getting another position was difficult. You can't eat principles.

Eloethan Tue 02-Feb-21 00:21:33

Well, that's very sad but I still admire her for her honesty. I can see what you mean though - it must have been very distressing for her.

welbeck Tue 02-Feb-21 02:10:07

i don't quite understand about the fish, Elegran. had the first guest not eaten the fish then ? wasn't it obvious that it had been picked over, how could she serve it again.

FannyCornforth Tue 02-Feb-21 05:42:03


Why would anyone want to be at the beck and call of the over privileged is beyond me. And for a pittance too. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Because afterwards you can go to the States and work for rich people and earn an absolute fortune on the back of the fact that you've worked for the Royals.
You are set up for life.

FannyCornforth Tue 02-Feb-21 05:44:46

I'd do it. It would be fascinating!

nanna8 Tue 02-Feb-21 06:16:45

I wouldn’t work for that family however much I was paid. Now they are truly dysfunctional.

FannyCornforth Tue 02-Feb-21 06:35:30

Nanna8 I know, but it would be sooo interesting!

Lucca Tue 02-Feb-21 06:42:39


I wouldn’t work for that family however much I was paid. Now they are truly dysfunctional.

Define dysfunctional ? There was a thread on this before. I said that I have one brother I don’t spend time with purely as we have nothing in common - I’m divorced - I have two sons married with children and we all love each other including daughters in law. So does that make my family dysfunctional? I think it’s a bit judgmental to describe a family that way.