The Duchess of Cambridge had a decent year, for her, in 2019 for engagement numbers. She reached her second highest total in her 8 years of marriage, although she’s still hovering in the low 100s. Kate did up her patronage engagement rate – there’s a huge caveat to that, though, which I’ll touch on later. The total number of engagements for the British Royal Family dropped by a couple hundred although several members did tick up. This is the final year in review for 2019, so let’s get to the breakdowns!
As always, counting and categorizing engagement numbers is subjective and everyone counts and categorizes them differently. My numbers almost never match Tim O’Donovan’s numbers from The Times, but O’Donovan’s numbers are the most consistent between royals and between years as I only count Kate and Meghan individually and I’ve not counted all years.
Royal Family Engagement Numbers
Prince Charles, again, tops the BRF totals with 521 (14.6% of the BRF total) for the year, followed by Princess Anne with 506 (14.2%). The Queen is still chugging along at 93 with 295 (8.3%) – up slightly from 2018’s 283. Notably, Prince Andrew stepped away from royal duties in November 2019 (quite rightly), which contributed to his 120 drop between 2018 (394) and 2019 (274). The BRF had a total of 3,567 engagements for the year.
I have a full decade of the BRF’s engagement numbers listed here; below is 2019’s numbers and percentages listed in descending order.
|The Prince of Wales||521||14.6%|
|The Princess Royal||506||14.2%|
|The Earl of Wessex||308||8.6%|
|The Duke of York||274||7.7%|
|The Countess of Wessex||236||6.6%|
|The Duke of Gloucester||226||6.3%|
|The Duchess of Cornwall||224||6.3%|
|The Duke of Cambridge||220||6.2%|
|The Duke of Kent||203||5.7%|
|The Duke of Sussex||201||5.6%|
|The Duchess of Cambridge||126||3.5%|
|The Duchess of Gloucester||84||2.4%|
|The Duchess of Sussex||83||2.3%|
Prince William did 220 engagements (6.2%), which even with 2018 when he also did 220 engagements, but a +50 engagement increase from 2017 when he did 171 engagements.
I wrote up a full breakdown of Meghan’s engagements over on MMR.
Kate’s Engagement Numbers Breakdown
Kate is sitting squarely at 4th from the bottom (out of 15) with 126 engagements (3.5%), according to O’Donovan. I counted all of Kate’s 2019 engagements using The Times and I counted 127 engagements for the year. For a full list of all of Kate’s engagements from 2019, see my Appearance Totals 2019 page. As I said in the intro, this is Kate’s second highest year, the highest being 2016 when she did 140 engagements (although I had her at 133 that year).
According to my numbers, Kate did 109 engagements in the UK, and 18 engagements abroad during her and William’s Pakistan tour. Kate had appearances on 82 different days, with a total of 49 solo engagements – giving her a 38.6% solo engagement rate. She gave 7 speeches in 2019.
Kate’s busiest month was October with 30 engagements – because of the tour and a bunch of Royal Foundation meetings. Second busiest was November with 18 engagements – again because of loads of RF meetings – and third was March with 15. Kate’s preferred working days were: Wednesday with 43 engagements; Tuesday with 35 engagements; and Thursday with 20.
Kate’s Patronages Breakdown
Kate did 47 total engagements as Patron of an organization in 2019, the most she’s ever done by 20 (she did 22 in 2018, and 26 in 2017). As I said in the intro, there’s a huge caveat to this figure. Kate did 31 engagements for The Royal Foundation alone (a whopping 60% of her patronage engagements), 28 of which were private meetings, mostly for her Early Years thing or meeting with people within the foundation structure (like the Chief Executive).
Kate’s most visited patronage is always The Royal Foundation because all of her projects are run through it – like Heads Together in 2017, the recent 5 Big Questions, etc. Outside of the Royal Foundation, Kate’s most visited were the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) with 3 engagements each, because Kate watched Wimbledon three times in 2019. Outside of those, Kate visited both East Anglia Children’s Hospices (EACH) and the Natural History Museum 2 times.
The patronages Kate did not visit in 2019: Air Cadets; Evelina London Children’s Hospital; Nursing Now Campaign; Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG); SportsAid; and The 1851 Trust.
|Action for Children||1||0||2|
|Action on Addiction||2||1||0|
|Anna Freud Centre||1||1||2|
|East Anglia Children’s Hospices (EACH)||2||0||2|
|Evelina London Children’s Hospital||0||1||N/A|
|Lawn Tennis Association (LTA)||3||4||3|
|National Portrait Gallery||1||1||1|
|Natural History Museum||2||0||1|
|Nursing Now Campaign||0||1||N/A|
|Royal Photographic Society||1||N/A||N/A|
|The 1851 Trust||0||0||1|
|The Art Room||N/A||N/A||0|
|The Foundling Museum||1||N/A||N/A|
|The Royal Foundation||31||8||11|
|The Scout Association||N/A||N/A||0|
|Victoria And Albert Museum (V&A)||1||1||N/A|
|100 Women in Hedge Funds||N/A||N/A||0|
Note: Each patronage is linked with the page for that patronage where I’ve listed all of Kate’s engagements for that patronage.
Kate picked up three new patronages in 2019: The Foundling Museum in March; the Royal Photographic Society in June; and Family Action in December.
Kate lost three patronages sometime in 2018 (not announced, but taken off the royal website and no longer listed as patron in the CC): The Art Room, which was folded into Place2Be in 2018; The Scout Association, which has no explanation; and 100 Women in Hedge Funds, which I think was a limited one anyway, but she was taken off as patron, I think, when they changed their name to 100 Women in Finance.
Note: Some engagements (ex. Wimbledon) were on behalf of two patronages, which is why the total from the table and the graph is higher than 47. While the engagements count for two different patronages, they still only count as one engagement for the total engagement count, hence the difference in total.
Kate has 20 active patronages now. I’d say that the lack of visits to certain ones is due to her growing number, but she’s been skipping patronages since 2014 when she only had 11; and she’s been doing 1-3 visits each since she took on patronages in 2012. I would like to see Kate be more involved with her patronages, and not just The Royal Foundation; I know most royals don’t visit their patronages more than 1-2 times a year, if that, but Kate doesn’t have as many patronages as other royals and she does far fewer engagements so it’s not like she’s too busy.
Waiting to do this engagement review until March of 2020 is a blessing and a curse. When I first saw the numbers at the end of 2019 I was neutral-positive for Kate – they’re over 100 and I know who I’m dealing with – and I was defending William’s numbers in my head because the last two years he’s been neck-and-neck with The Duchess of Cornwall and no one complains about her numbers. But writing this up in March, I have to take Sussexit into the equation. The BRF has lost 3 key players in Prince Harry, the Duchess of Sussex, and Andrew. The BRF total for 2019 is already the lowest in a decade, and taking out their engagements puts the BRF total at around 3,000 which is a huge drop from their decade average of 3,850 engagements per year.
And Charles wants to slim down the monarchy! His slimmed down version included the Sussexes and they’re gone now. That leaves himself, Camilla, William, and Kate with a total of 1,091 for 2019. Half of which is just himself. Charles did 521 engagements in 2019, and the other three did 570 between them.
Not only does Kate need to increase her numbers by at least 150, but William and Camilla need to increase their numbers, too. I understand Camilla’s age and health, but the 93 year old Queen did more than her. There is no excuse for William; he should be averaging 400 a year. Another person who could increase their numbers is The Countess of Wessex – her average for the last 5 years is 218. There have been a bunch of articles about who will step in for the Sussexes and Andrew, but if all four of these people increase their numbers, the BRF would be fine in terms of total engagement numbers.