2018's most hard-working royals revealed: and you might be surprised at the result

We didn't see this coming!

Figures have been released showing who is the busiest member of the royal family - and Princess Anne has once again hit the top spot! With the highest number of days worked so far this year, the hard-working Princess Royal has racked up 75 days of service - followed by the Earl of Wessex with 59, and the Prince of Wales, who is on 52. The figures, covering 1 January to 22 May, are derived from the Court Circular, the official daily record of public engagements attended by the royal family.

Princess Anne is officially the hardest-working member of the royal family

The Duchess of Sussex, who became an official member of the royal family following her wedding to Prince Harry on 19 May, will now be part of the circular. Her attendance at Tuesday's Buckingham Palace garden party to celebrate Prince Charles' 70th birthday will be recorded as her first public appearance. 

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The Duchess of Sussex made her first appearance as a member of the royal family on Tuesday

While Harry did not wait until the couple were married to introduce the Duchess to royal engagements, these events were not listed in the official record as Meghan was not a member of the monarchy. After the couple announced their engagement on November 27, they carried out 16 days of royal engagements together, starting with a visit to Nottingham last year and ending with a series of Anzac Day commemoration events in London in April. Despite this, it looks like Meghan will have to start from scratch!

Prince William has made 33 appearances

Meanwhile, the Duke of Cambridge has carried out 33 days of engagements since the start of the year - followed by the Duke of York at 31, the Duchess of Cornwall at 30, and the Queen at 26. The Duchess of Cambridge, whose new son, Prince Louis, was born on April 23, went on maternity leave a month ahead of the birth and is caring for her family - though she still managed to make 22 appearances.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle and Prince Charles show close bond at garden party appearance

The Duke of Edinburgh is listed once for his attendance at the royal wedding, but of course Prince Philip has effectively retired from public duties - and only recently recovered from a hip replacement.

WATCH BELOW: Harry and Meghan's first appearance as a married couple

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