The Surprising Thing Queen Elizabeth Did During Lockdown

When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, Queen Elizabeth, like many of us, stayed home. However, while most of us spent those early days with only our closest family members and pets, the queen and Prince Philip spent their time with 22 employees, per the Mirror

This group, nicknamed the HMS Bubble, opted to spend isolation with the royal couple, even though it meant time apart from their own families. When Philip died on April 9, 2021, the queen's staff comforted her while she grieved. Due to COVID restrictions at the time, Elizabeth could only meet non-bubble family members, like her children, in outdoor settings.

During the slower pace of life in lockdown, the queen stayed current with world events by watching and reading the news. Like many people, she also spent time utilizing video chats to stay connected with the outside world (via Travel + Leisure). Her Majesty also took time to enjoy the outdoors. Her head groom, Terry Pendry, was part of her bubble, and he went with the monarch while she rode her Fell pony, per Vanity Fair

But, like the rest of the world, the queen's normal routines were disrupted during this time, and, despite her royally lavish lifestyle, Queen Elizabeth did have to make some adjustments.

Queen Elizabeth got a home haircut — royal style

Queen Elizabeth looks upon her hairstyle as part of her signature look and has only switched it up three times in her 70-year reign. Typically, her go-to stylist is Ian Carmichael, per Newsweek.

However, since he was not part of the royal COVID-19 bubble, the queen decided to put her hairdo in the hands of Angela Kelly, Her Majesty's Personal Advisor and Curator (The Queen's Jewelry, Insignias and Wardrobe). One of the queen's most trusted staff members, Kelly was tasked with cutting and styling the queen's hair. 

In the forthcoming update to her 2019 book, "The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe," Kelly details these experiences as part of the royal bubble (via The Guardian). Since she has worked with Elizabeth for 28 years, and the two have such a close relationship that Kelly was a logical choice to ensure that the queen maintained her style, per People.

As part of her regular role, Kelly attends to all the details of the queen's wardrobe. As detailed in her book, to make gowns more comfortable, she adds extra lining to shield the monarch from sharp crystals or beading. Kelly also breaks in Queen Elizabeth's new shoes, since they both wear the same size. To avoid any wardrobe malfunctions, Kelly adds weighted hems to keep dresses from flapping in the wind, per the Daily Mail.

The queen and Angela Kelly have bonded during decades of service

Since joining the royal household in 1993, Angela Kelly has spent a lot of time with Queen Elizabeth, and they share common interests. 

"We are two typical women. We discuss clothes, make-up, jewellery. We say, 'Would this piece of jewellery look nice with that outfit?', and things like that," Kelly told The Telegraph in 2007. "The Queen loves clothes and is a real expert on fabrics. It has not been a question of me teaching the Queen — it has been the other way around." 

Kelly has her own home on Windsor Castle's property. When she's not working, the Daily Mail reports that she visits the queen occasionally, "nipping in for tea."

As evidence of the queen's trust, Kelly obtained permission for her first book, "Dressing the Queen," in 2012. She was the first royal employee to get approval to write about behind-the-scenes details of palace life, per People.

The updated edition of Kelly's second book, "The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe," is set to debut on May 12, 2022, to coincide with Queen Elizabeth's upcoming Platinum Jubilee festivities.

According to The Bookseller, Kayla Shipster, HarperNonFiction's publishing director, said that the book showcases "the lengths Angela and the Royal Household went to, to ensure the safety of our monarch. There is no better look at what goes on behind the pomp and circumstance than this wonderful book."