Inside Queen Elizabeth's Relatable Life At Home

It's hard for a regular person to imagine what it's actually like to be Queen Elizabeth II.

As the world's longest-reigning monarch, she's one of the most recognizable people on the planet, never going anywhere without a phalanx of bodyguards. When the queen gets a positive COVID diagnosis or decides how she wants to spend her 96th birthday, the news gets splashed across headlines around the globe.


The queen has never been allowed to do many ordinary activities, such as showing public displays of affection, growing long fingernails — or even crossing her legs in public.

And Queen Elizabeth lives an insanely lavish life, thanks to her estimated $600 million net worth (via Celebrity Net Worth). Her stamp collection alone was valued at about £100 million ($127 million) two decades ago, and she even has an employee whose job it is to break in her shoes.

But, despite all this, when the queen relaxes at home, she acts like an average person more than you might guess.

Queen Elizabeth sometimes washes the dishes

It may seem ludicrous to imagine Queen Elizabeth in a pair of rubber gloves, up to her elbows in soapy water, scrubbing food-encrusted pots and pans after a dinner lacking in pomp and circumstance. But, apparently, the Head of the Commonwealth has been known to do exactly that.


Royal expert Harry Mount wrote in The Telegraph about how the royal family has long used Wood Farm as an escape from outside strife and stress. This five-bedroom farmhouse on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England, is modest — by royal standards, at least. Few staffers are on the premises, and they're not decked out in the royal livery.

In the article, Mount quoted a royal courtier who visited Wood Farm: "I was once at a shooting lunch," they said. "At the end of lunch, I heard someone say: 'I'll do the washing-up.' I turned round and there was the Queen in her yellow washing-up gloves."

If you're incredulous, Queen Elizabeth's inclination to wash the dishes after an informal meal is also mentioned in the documentary "Secrets of the Royal Kitchens."


Her casual meals at home might surprise you

Who hasn't eaten in front of the television after a long day? (Or the "telly," as Queen Elizabeth would say.)

In "Secrets of the Royal Kitchens," Lady Colin Campbell described the queen's informal dining habits when away from public scrutiny. "She eats her dinner off a tray, looking at the television," she said. "She likes it."


And it's probably a comedy she's viewing on the telly. Journalist Phil Jones revealed in The New Statesman that the queen told him she enjoyed watching "The Kumars at No. 42" – and then proceeded to recite some of the grandmother character's lines from the British comedy series.

Another of the monarch's relatable mealtime habits is daily dessert. She is especially fond of one specific type of cake (per Recipes Plus via Vanity Fair). 

"Now the chocolate biscuit cake is the only cake that goes back again and again and again every day until it's all gone," said former royal chef Darren McGrady. "She'll take a small slice every day until eventually there is only one tiny piece, but you have to send that up, she wants to finish the whole of that cake."


McGrady told Insider that the queen also enjoys burgers, but etiquette dictates that she eat them a particular way. 

"They would shoot deer, and we would do venison burgers. There'd be gorgeous cranberry and everything stuffed into them, but we never set buns out," he said. "They would have burgers, but not the buns. So they would eat it with their knife and fork."

The queen enjoys sipping tea – along with some stronger drinks

It's a surprise to exactly no one that the Queen of England drinks tea every day, but she's particularly dedicated to her afternoon tea.

While demonstrating how to bake Queen Elizabeth's favorite teatime scones (via YouTube), former royal chef Darren McGrady explained her love of the repast.


"She'd always have afternoon tea, wherever she was in the world. I remember being on the Royal Yacht Britannia — we flew out to Australia, joined Britannia — and it was like five o'clock in the morning, but to the queen it was five in the afternoon. It was time for tea. So my first job was making scones."

The tea sipped by the queen is from a brand anyone can buy at the grocery store: Twinings. Stephen Twining, the director of corporate relations for the company that bears his family name, told Town & Country, "As a company, we've had the honor of supplying every successive British King and Queen from [1837] to the very current day."

Perhaps more surprising is the monarch's taste for a good tipple. McGrady told the Independent that the queen's favorite drink is a gin and Dubonnet. She also likes sipping a glass of sweet German wine at dinnertime.


She does her own makeup, drives a car, and even rides horses

Queen Elizabeth always applies her own makeup, except for the one day each December when she records her annual Christmas speech to the nation. 

Angela Kelly, the queen's dressmaker and personal wardrobe advisor, wrote about this preference in "The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe," per People. "You might be surprised to know that this is the only occasion throughout the year when Her Majesty does not do her own makeup," she said.


Marilyn Widdess of the BBC is brought in to handle makeup duties on that important day.

The queen has never let being a royal — not to mention a nonagenarian! — stop her from doing ordinary activities such as driving a car or riding a horse whenever she feels like it. In 2017, at age 91, she was spotted driving her Jaguar home from Sunday morning church services. Then, at 92, she was photographed on horseback — and again at age 93.

Queen Elizabeth has had several sweet nicknames over the years

According to the British royal family's official website, standard protocol is to address Queen Elizabeth as "Your Majesty" and "Ma'am." But her own family members are much more casual with her at home, especially the children.


Many of the royal youngsters call the queen "Granny." When a very young Prince William fell down at Buckingham Palace, he cried out to "Gary" for help. "I'm Gary," the queen explained (per Daily Mail). "He hasn't learned to say Granny yet."

In the documentary "Our Queen at Ninety," future queen Kate Middleton revealed how her son, Prince George, referred to his great-grandmother when he was younger. "George is only two-and-a-half and he calls her Gan-Gan," she said, per Hello.

The queen's late husband, Prince Philip, had an unusual nickname for her: Cabbage. In 2006, royal biographer Robert Lacey told The Sunday Times, "Yes, I've heard that is how he will sometimes refer to her." This nickname has been used in onscreen portrayals of her, including in the Netflix series "The Crown" and the 2006 movie "The Queen."


As a child, unable to say "Elizabeth" correctly, the queen inadvertently came up with her own nickname: Lilibet (per BBC). The adorable mispronunciation stuck. Her grandfather and husband both used the nickname, and other extremely close friends and family members still use it today.

Picture it: Lilibet at home, enjoying a glass of wine while eating dinner in front of the telly. Who can't relate to that?