The British royal family is a big firm that employs a lot of people to do a lot of different things, but there are some roles which are a lot more unusual than others, and what’s more, you’ll only find them in the employ of the Windsors.
Latin Times reports that in among the gardeners, cleaners and cooks who keep the royal estates ticking over like clockwork there is a handful of “odd jobs” in every sense of the word.
However, there’s one job that’s perhaps more bizarre than most and it even has Walt Disney connotations.
Deep in the bowels of Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth employs a junior member of staff who has been dubbed “Cinders.”
It’s a strange nickname but then again Cinders has a strange job to do. Cinders has a role with a lot of “sole” when it comes to supporting the U.K.’s monarch, because ‘Cinders’ has the important task of wearing in Her Majesty’s shoes.
Now being a “foot-maiden” may sound like a pretty uncomplicated way to earn your crust, but there’s a little more to it when you belong to the queen’s loyal stable of shoe testers.
And one most definitely wouldn’t want to put their foot in it when working in such a prestigious position.
You see, the queen is pretty peculiar when it comes to her shoes. Fashion is definitely not one of Her Majesty’s passions and she firmly believes in function first.
In fact, for the last 50 years of her reign, the queen has rocked the same trusty patent leather slip-on shoes that have almost become her trademark.
In the same way you think of cigars when you think of Winston Churchill, when you think of the queen, you think of sensible footwear that does what it said on the tin.
From prison visits to the Diamond Jubilee pageant, The Daily Mail reports that the queen has worn the same sort of timeless patent leather shoes that are tailor-made to never steal a show or detract any attention from the monarch herself.
Handmade by Anello & Davide of Kensington, west London, it takes a team of four to produce these unsung heroes of the royal household.
These bad boys retail at $1,500 a pair, and their comfort, support, and simplicity of design entail they are a hard and fast favorite when it comes to the queen’s royal duties.
Yet any shoe always takes a certain amount of wearing in, and that’s where Cinders comes in.
She may not be going to the ball or getting married to Prince Charming anytime soon, but Cinders will always be at hand (or should that be foot?) to ensure the queen’s feet are kept footloose and fancy-free of blisters.
The queen’s dress designer, Stewart Parvin, told The Daily Mail, “The Queen can never say, ‘I’m uncomfortable, I can’t walk any more.'”
Apparently Cinders has the exact same size feet as the queen. When testing the queen’s shoes, Cinders wears beige cotton socks, and is only allowed to walk on carpets.
Before the shoes are handed over to the Queen, they are given one trial run outside to ensure there is no slippage.
Sounds like a walk in the park.