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The Queen’s Cleaners Have to Pass a Bizarre ‘Fly Test’ Before They Get Hired


It’s no surprise there are quite a few hoops for a person to jump through before getting hired to work for the royal family, but we’re pretty sure no one would guess a dead bug might be part of the interview process.

As bizarre as it might sound, Tracey Waterman, the family’s head recruiter for housekeeping, shared the quirky tidbit in a new UK documentary about Sandringham House (one of the royals many residences she hires for).

Waterman explained that she will place a dead fly somewhere in a room — like the fireplace or the carpet — as a little test for potential cleaning staff. She elaborated, “The difference between a housekeeper in a five-star hotel and in a royal palace would be attention to detail… Once the dead fly is placed, I then bring the candidate into the room. 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.” 

She will then subtly gesture to the area where she placed the bug, perhaps by noting the fireplace’s beauty. “At this point, I’d expect them to see the dead fly, and hopefully pick it up,” Waterman said. Apparently, the key isn’t to just spot the fly, but also take the initiative to do something about it. 

“It’s a great test, maybe out of 10 people half the candidates will notice the fly,” she claimed. “One out of ten will actually bend down and pick it up. That’s the special housekeeper.” There’s no denying passing this test would certainly set a candidate apart from others! 

Prince William and Kate were reportedly searching for a new housekeeper recently, so we can only hope applicants happened to catch this tip before heading into an interview. Whoever gets the job can definitely add “keen eye for details” to their resumes.

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