Queen Elizabeth is no doubt one of the richest and most powerful women in the world. She’s reportedly worth an astonishing $530 million, according to Forbes. She’s the matriarch of the British royal family, which is valued at an even more mind-blowing figure: $88 billion, as reported by Forbes.
The queen’s lifestyle certainly reflects her enormous wealth. As the world’s longest-ruling monarch, she has easy access to perks like luxury cars, spacious palaces, and sparkling tiaras. Servants are always on hand to do her bidding and perform some arguably ridiculous jobs, like including organizing her stamp collection and overseeing all of the swans who live in the river Thames, which the Queen technically owns.
Yes, Queen Elizabeth’s life is insanely lavish and, obviously, far from normal. Want more details? Keep reading to find out what kind of cars she likes to drive, how many palaces she owns, and how many diamonds are on her crown (it’s even more than you think!).
Queen Elizabeth’s main home has 78 bathrooms
Queen Elizabeth’s home base is Buckingham Palace in London. It’s technically in the City of Westminster, a London borough. According to Town & Country, the huge palace has 775 rooms total. Wow! Of those rooms, 78 are bathrooms.
You can even take a tour of some parts of the palace. The main feature of the summer tours at the palace is the state rooms, of which there are 19, as reported by the tourism site Visit London. These are the rooms where the queen spends time with those she hosts. There’s also a huge bronze staircase, dubbed the Grand Staircase, with elaborate carvings. The palace is filled with expensive artwork, fine porcelain, and clocks. In fact, there are so many analog clocks that there are two full-time workers (horological conservators) who wind and take care of them.
In addition to these features, Buckingham Palace is also home to sweeping, lush gardens. According to Visit London, there’s even a lake on the property that spans some three acres. The gardens outside the palace are, naturally, used to host Queen Elizabeth’s garden parties. Hello! magazine reported that these parties bring in 30,000 people annually.
One of Queen Elizabeth’s tiaras contains nearly a hundred rubies
One of the most enviable things about Queen Elizabeth is her huge collection of priceless jewels. Tiaras are especially enchanting since they’re associated with being a royal. The queen has plenty of tiaras, to be sure, but one in particular contains an impressive number of precious stones.
According to Harper’s Bazaar, Queen Elizabeth’s Burmese Ruby tiara features a whopping 96 rubies. Upon Queen Elizabeth’s marriage to Prince Philip, Myanmar (then Burma) sent them to the royal couple as a wedding present. Although that was back in the ’40s, she didn’t get them fastened into a tiara until the ’70s.
If you think that’s impressive, though, you should know she also has a crown with over 2,000 diamonds as well as other gems, as reported by Marie Claire. It’s the Imperial State Crown that has historically been worn for coronations, including the queen’s own, since the 1930s. And, apparently, the monarch keeps those diamonds sparkling by using gin, as revealed by her royal dresser, Angela Kelly. Kelly told the Daily Mail that she uses a mixture of the alcohol and water to shine the Queen’s jewels. Who knew?
Queen Elizabeth travels all around the world
Being the queen means that Queen Elizabeth travels a lot for diplomatic duties. Her first trip as the queen was to Kenya in 1952, the year she became England’s monarch. According to Reader’s Digest, she has been to over 120 countries during her reign. Her apparent favorite is Canada, which is the place that she’s visited the most; she’s stopped in at least 27 times. As part of the Commonwealth, Canada technically falls under her rulership.
It might surprise you that Queen Elizabeth doesn’t get to choose where she goes on trips, though. That’s up to the United Kingdom government, which makes decisions depending on how safe a potential visit would be. It turns out that even the Queen of England — and, you know, Canada — doesn’t get to do everything she wants.
However, she does get to fly without a passport, as reported by Reader’s Digest. British passports are issued in the queen’s name, so she herself doesn’t need one to travel. Lucky!
Queen Elizabeth’s second palace has this many rooms
If you thought Buckingham Palace was impressive, you’ll be in awe of another royal family home: Windsor Castle. It’s one of the Queen’s six residences, according to Town & Country. The publication reported in 2017 that it’s "the largest occupied castle in the world." According to Reader’s Digest Canada, the castle has about 1,000 rooms. A thousand! It’s hard to imagine living in a home that big.
The home also has a rich history. The outlet stated that the British royal family has lived in it for around a millennium, making it "the oldest continuously occupied castle in the world." As for Queen Elizabeth’s history at Windsor Castle, she lived there quite a bit growing up. Reader’s Digest Canada reported that she and her sister, Princess Margaret, took shelter there during bombings London during World War II.
The history there isn’t all grim, however. Windsor Castle has also been the venue for royal weddings, including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. As of October 2018, there’s been a total of 17 weddings held at the castle, the official website for the British royal family confirmed. It is a beautiful venue, after all.
Queen Elizabeth loves purses by this designer brand
What woman wouldn’t use her wealth to buy luxury brand handbags? Queen Elizabeth certainly does. She’s long been a fan of the high-end brand Launer. Town & Country reported that her mother gifted the then-princess with her first Launer bag in the ’50s and she’s been hooked ever since. The Queen Mother was a fan of the brand herself and Queen Elizabeth still has her mother’s Launer purses. The CEO of Launer London, Gerald Bodmer, told the site that Queen Elizabeth has 200 purses by the brand. You can spot one in most every photo taken of her.
The queen’s love for the brand isn’t cheap, however. They can run as much as $2,346 per purse, as stated by Good Housekeeping. That’s chump change to a queen, though. Besides, they’re more than simply handbags to her; she uses them as a code to her aides. According to Today, the queen will move her purse from her left arm to her right as a signal to her staff that she wants to get out of a conversation. Sneaky!
Queen Elizabeth travels by royal plane and train
Queen Elizabeth has access to a private plane for travel, which she needs to use often. To get to where she’s going, she uses the Royal Air Force plane Voyager, as reported by CNBC. Government officials and the rest of the royal family also have access to this plane. Transporting those select few isn’t the jet’s only job, though. It’s also used to refuel other Royal Air Force planes.
These trips taken by the queen and other royals aren’t cheap and they’re paid for by British citizens’ tax money, as stated by Town & Country. The exception is when the queen is traveling to another country within the Commonwealth. In those instances, the country she’s visiting funds her travel.
The monarch is no stranger to taking the train, either. She uses one every year to travel to Sandringham estate in Norfolk. Historically, the royals spend Christmas there and, for those trips, she opts a commercial train. That said, a royal train does exist. Called the Royal Train, it is reserved for — you guessed it — royals. Queen Elizabeth and Meghan Markle took a trip on it together in 2018, though it carried a heavy price tag of over $26,000 as reported by the magazine.
Queen Elizabeth has several private chefs
According to Darren McGrady, the queen’s former chef, he got to travel all over the world for his work. He told The Seattle Times that he wasn’t in it for the paycheck, which isn’t necessarily impressive, he explained. Rather, he took the position because it’s a "very prestigious job." He had to be prepared to cook for a lot of people when the queen hosted, which was often. McGrady disclosed that Queen Elizabeth is a little unadventurous in her eating — she doesn’t stray from what she likes. He also revealed that she loves chocolate as well as Special K cereal. Well, now that we can relate to.
A 2020 job posting by the Royal Household in search of a sous chef mentioned the benefits of cooking for the queen, which comes with 33 days of vacation annually, as reported by Food & Wine. You can even live in Buckingham Palace if you’d like, which will include your meals, but that does come out of your paycheck. It also stated that the job required knowledge of French cuisine, which Queen Elizabeth enjoys. We’re a little jealous that she has people preparing decadent food for her all the time.
Queen Elizabeth owns racehorses
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the queen owns her very own racehorses. She goes to horse races often and she even travels to Kentucky to visit the stud farms there. Her love for horses isn’t recent, though. Reader’s Digest reported that she first rode a horse when she was only three years old and got her first pony when she was four (every little girl’s dream gift, right?). The publication also stated that Queen Elizabeth doesn’t just watch horses race, she rides them as well. Though, you know, not while they’re racing. Though that would be cool.
The queen’s horsey hobby has managed to earn her a lot of money. As of 2017, she’d netted $9.4 million from over 450 races won by her racehorses, according to Reader’s Digest. John Warren, the queen’s racing advisor, told The Telegraph, "If the Queen wasn’t the Queen, she would have made a wonderful trainer. She has such an affinity with horses and is so perceptive."
Queen Elizabeth owns multiple luxury cars
The Queen reportedly likes to drive, although she doesn’t go far. She can be spotted driving to church or on the grounds of her country estate, according to Town & Country. Despite staying local, she has many vehicle options. In photos, the queen is often pictured behind the wheel of her Range Rover, but you’ll also sometimes see the royals riding in a Jaguar.
Queen Elizabeth also has a Bentley State Limousine, according to Town & Country. It was made specially for her 2002 Golden Jubilee so onlookers could get a better view of her. But, that isn’t her only Bentley. The car brand let her buy the first Bentley Bentayga when it came out in 2015, as stated by Business Insider. It’s the most expensive SUV in the world, but she can undoubtedly afford it. It’s also the fastest SUV out there so, who knows, maybe the queen likes to burn rubber around her property. We won’t judge.
Queen Elizabeth’s fine art collection is massive
Queen Elizabeth has so much art that she has an employee whose sole job is to take care of it all. The position is called Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures and is filled by Desmond Shawe-Taylor, according to Reader’s Digest.
The queen’s assortment of art, known as the Royal Collection, includes about a million paintings, books, furnishings, et cetera. Although this collection is not technically owned by Queen Elizabeth herself, it’s "held in trust by her as Sovereign for her successors and the nation," the Royal Collection site explained. So, basically, it’s hers until the end of her life.
According to The Guardian, some of Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings are part of this epic collection and while some of the artwork is archived, other pieces are actually on display in royal residences. The site also mentions that thousands upon thousands of pieces of the Royal Collection have been loaned to galleries and museums. You don’t have to travel to England to see some of the art for yourself, though. The Royal Collection Trust website has plenty you can view online.
Queen Elizabeth has ladies-in-waiting to do her bidding
Ladies-in-waiting seem like something out of a historical drama, but they’re still a thing. Queen Elizabeth has ladies that she’s chosen to assist her, according to the Royal Household (via The National Archives). In their position, they help Queen Elizabeth with her correspondence. The ladies also go to events with the Queen and travel with her abroad. Reader’s Digest reported that she usually travels with two ladies-in-waiting.
Though they are there to help, she’s not always patient with them. While in Cambridge to plant a tree with the National Institute of Agricultural Botany, she was somewhat short with her lady-in-waiting. As she walked to the spot where she was going to plant the tree, she remembered that she still had her purse on her arm. As seen in a video shared by Cosmopolitan, the queen curtly said to her lady, "Can you take that? I can’t do both." It’s not easy working for one of the most powerful women in the world!
Queen Elizabeth’s summer home is worth well over $100 million
Balmoral Castle, Queen Elizabeth’s castle in Scotland, is worth $140 million, according to Forbes. She spends part of her summer there every year, as stated by Town & Country and it is reportedly her favorite place of residency. The queen’s granddaughter, Princess Eugenie, remarked in the documentary Our Queen At Ninety (via Town & Country), "I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands."
She went on to say that there are usually dogs around during the monarch’s summer break (which is no surprise since she’s a notorious dog-lover), along with her family members who accompany her on vacation. When at Balmoral, the queen spends time driving, horseback riding, and enjoying the great outdoors. The estate spans 50,000 acres, so there’s no shortage of green space. In total, Balmoral is made up of 150 buildings, according to Town & Country with plenty of gardens surrounding them.
Queen Elizabeth has her very own ATM
How convenient would it be to have an ATM in your house? Well, perhaps only Queen Elizabeth knows the answer to that question. The monarch has her very own money machine at her home base, Buckingham Palace, as revealed in the documentary Secrets of the Royal Palaces by Channel 5 (via International Business Times). Vogue reported that the ATM was installed around 2001.
It’s provided by the British banking company Coutts, which has a patronage with the royal family. As useful as the ATM may be, it may not be used all that often. The queen isn’t thought to keep cash on her person, according to International Business Times. However, there is one exception. She brings cash — five pounds to be exact — to church with her every Sunday, as reported by Vogue.
The ATM isn’t the only handy feature in the palace. Along with skipping a trip to the bank, the queen never has to make a trip to the post office. There’s one right there in Buckingham Palace, according to the Daily Mail. Queen Elizabeth probably doesn’t send her own mail anyway, though. There are employees for that!
Queen Elizabeth has an employee whose job is to break in shoes for her
One of the most extravagant aspects of Queen Elizabeth’s life is the fact that she has an employee who breaks in her shoes for her. This saves her from getting blisters on her feet. Stewart Parvin, the former royal dress designer, confirmed to The Sunday Times (via the Daily Mail) that the Queen’s shoes "have to be immediately comfortable … she does get someone to wear them. The Queen can never say, "I’m uncomfortable, I can’t walk any more.’"
Parvin also revealed to the Evening Standard that the queen’s designated shoe-wearer breaks in the shoes by wearing them "with a pair of beige cotton ankle socks on the carpet." Interesting! Parvin put it this way: "She has the right to have someone wear them in." He’s not wrong!
According to the publication, the queen’s favorite shoes, known as her "work" shoes, are her black, patent leather, loafer-style heels by Anello & Davide, although there’s no telling if she loves them because they’re already perfectly broken in.