The Queen’s Most Bizarre Habits Only Made Her More Lovable

Queen Elizabeth was an international icon, but it's important to remember that underneath all the pomp and ceremony, she was an ordinary human being. We all have our own quirks, but surely someone like her was above that kind of behavior, right? Well, not exactly. As it turns out, the British monarch had some pretty unusual routines that prove she was unlike anyone else on the planet. So, from celebrating two birthdays a year to having a personal poet, let’s discover how the Queen differed from us mere mortals.

1. She couldn't stand facial hair

The next time you look at a picture of the British royal family, zoom in on the faces of the guys. Why? Well, you’re sure to notice that nearly none of them have facial hair. And that’s entirely down to the Queen. Reportedly, she hated mustaches and beards, so growing them was out of the question. Elizabeth would be the perfect mascot for Gillette!

2. Particular nail polish

Finding the right nail polish for your cuticles isn’t always easy, but the Queen had no such problem. According to Harper’s Bazaar, she sported the same type for over 30 years. In case you were curious, it’s “Ballet Slippers” pink from the Essie brand. Her hairdresser first asked for a container in 1989, and she refused to try anything else as an alternative.

3. Her private ATM

It was difficult to picture the Queen standing at an ATM with the rest of us. Doesn’t seem particularly royal, does it? Then again, that’s not to say that she wasn't in the habit of drawing out money every so often. Insiders noted that Elizabeth had a private cash dispenser sitting in Buckingham Palace. How cool is that?

4. Secret signals

Even an ordinary conversation with the Queen came with some hidden meanings — for those in the know, at least. Elizabeth had a set of secret signs that her staff had to become familiar with. For instance, by sticking her bag on a tabletop, she messaged that she was ready to leave in five minutes. But if it ended up on the ground, the monarch wanted out immediately.

5. Donating animals to the zoo

Who doesn’t like receiving presents? We certainly do! In the Queen’s case, though, her offerings could get a little weird. Yes, the sovereign has been handed a huge number of animals down the years – ranging from crocodiles to elephants. Yet Elizabeth didn't actually keep them. Harper’s Bazaar reported that she made a habit of pledging the critters to the London Zoo.

6. An unexpected autograph

Yep, the Queen did have a signature, but it’s unlike anyone else’s. She got into the habit of signing off messages with “Elizabeth R.” Now don’t be fooled by that – the “R” has nothing to do with a surname we’ve never seen before! It actually represents the Latin word “regina,” which translates to "queen" in English.

7. Weird cereal storage

What do you think the Queen ate for breakfast? It’s got to be fancy, right? Well, not quite. Elizabeth was apparently a big fan of cereal in the mornings. There is a caveat to that, though. According to palace sources, she would only eat the foodstuff if it’s been stored in a plastic box. How weirdly specific!

8. No passport required

Before we head off for a vacation, it’s always helpful to develop a habit of remembering where our passport is. Yet that was not the case with the Queen. The matriarch hadn't required one since her coronation. You see, documentation of that type is released in the name of the monarch. And as she held that title, Elizabeth was basically exempt.

9. Off the menu

If you’re not a fan of soup, then you’re in good company. The Queen apparently hated it! Sure, bowls are handed out at gatherings within Buckingham Palace, yet Elizabeth wouldn't touch the stuff herself. Oh, and sources revealed that the royal steered clear of potatoes, too. The Queen reportedly wanted her meals to be free of starch.

10. Personal stash of TP

Yes, you’re reading that correctly! As reported by the South China Morning Post, the Queen never traveled without her personal stockpile of toilet paper. That’s some habit, right? It’s firmly believed that Andrex was her preferred brand. After all, the organization claims to have a “royal warrant” that was passed down in the late 1970s.

11. Human alarm clock

Did the Queen have an alarm clock? Yes... well, technically. According to Harper’s Bazaar, she liked to get up at 9:00 a.m. on the dot. So, Elizabeth asked a bagpipe player to come to the window every day to rouse her with a dose of ear-splittingly loud music. And he’s subsequently earned the nickname “Piper to the Sovereign.”

12. Two birthdays per year

The Queen’s proper birthday was April 21, yet she also had an “official” celebration on June 11 every year. This second day was in place so that public processions could be held in her honor. The unpredictability of the spring conditions means that couldn't happen on her normal birthday. Still with us? Good.

13. Hated bow ties

Did you know that the Queen didn't like waistcoats? We doubt she’s alone on that front. But one of her biggest pet peeves was phony bow ties. Little do most people realize that the British royal had an uncanny knack for spotting them when she was at special events. Talk about eagle-eyed observation skills!

14. Blinding neon outfits

Have you ever wondered why the Queen preferred neon-colored outfits? Well, writer Sali Hughes has the answer. The author wrote in her book Our Rainbow Queen, “[Elizabeth] wears bright colors because she believes it’s her duty to be seen by the people who’ve waited behind barriers for hours at a time. She understands her job is to be seen and, standing at just 5’3, [she] needs all the help she can get.”

15. The portable hook

It goes without saying that women develop a habit of placing certain items in their handbags. The Queen is no different in that respect, but that’s where the similarities end. The sovereign always put a portable hook on hers. Apparently, Elizabeth could stick this gadget below tables so she could fasten her purse to it. Clever!

16. Paying her poets

Can any of you call upon your own poet? No? Well, the Queen could! Elizabeth was able to choose a “Poet Laureate” every decade, and she made a habit of using them when certain celebrations come around. It’s a paid position as well, with Insider noting that the annual sum is roughly $7,000. Oh, and they also get a keg full of sherry for their troubles!

17. No garlic or onions

Sure, garlic and onions are great, but their smell isn’t particularly pleasant. It’s for that reason that the Queen and her family have stayed away from them. You see, Camilla Parker Bowles previously verified that they couldn’t eat anything that would give them pungent breath ahead of meet-and-greets. Makes sense, right?

18. Breaking in her shoes

It’s not always comfortable breaking in that latest pair of shoes, but it’s a job that needs doing. The Queen had no desire for it, though. To make matters easier, she would reportedly ask a member of staff with similar-sized feet to loosen up the footwear instead. We can only wonder what the title of that role would be.

19. Cold as ice

During the summer, ice cubes are absolutely perfect for lowering the temperature of your beverages. Mind you, the Queen wasn't a fan. Royal reporters have claimed that she couldn't stand them due to the noise they make — at least the kind with edges. Instead, the sovereign preferred ice balls. They produce a “musical” ding apparently. The things you learn, right?

20. The raspberry conundrum

In terms of food she actually did like, the Queen absolutely adored raspberries. We don’t blame her — they’re delicious! There’s just one problem, though. Due to the seeds inside the tasty fruit, she refused to chow down on them in public spaces. Apparently, Elizabeth didn't want anything to get lodged in her teeth around people.

21. Weights sewn into clothing

Ever wondered why you never once saw a gust of wind pick up the Queen’s skirt? Well, there’s actually a rather clever explanation behind that fact. According to OK! magazine, she had small curtain weights stitched inside those clothes. Thanks to that habit, Elizabeth avoided any Marilyn Monroe-like moments in public down the years!

22. Corgis everywhere

The Queen’s love of corgis really can’t be questioned. According to Harper’s Bazaar, she had more than 30 of them as pets throughout her life! But did you know the matriarch was a breeder, too? Yes, the U.K. sovereign’s habitual admiration for the canines led to the creation of the “dorgi.” That’s apparently a dachshund mixed with a corgi!

23. Paying Taxes... though she didn't need to

Unlike the rest of us, the Queen technically didn't need to hand over any money to the tax man. Lucky her! Guess what, though? The monarch made a habit of paying them anyway. According to the royal family’s website, she started this surprising trend in 1993 and never looked back after that.

24. Tupperware fruit

Back in 2017, an ex-cook for the royal family sat down for an interview with Marie Claire. And during their conversation, Darren McGrady dropped this tidbit regarding one of the Queen’s eating habits. He said, “People always say, ‘Oh, the Queen must eat off gold plates with gold knives and forks.’ Yes, sometimes. But at Balmoral, she’d eat fruit from a plastic yellow Tupperware container.”

25. Who needs a license?

Whenever we go out driving, we can’t forget about our license. But the Queen didn't have to worry. Good Housekeeping notes that she’s the one driver in Great Britain who was not required to carry one. And that’s a good thing, too — imagine losing it in a place like Buckingham Palace. You’d never see the card again!

26. In-flight essentials

While it might not seem like it at times, the Queen was just a regular person. She was not exempt from the rigors of life and issues such as jet lag. Then again, Elizabeth tried her best to fight back against this condition. As per the South China Morning Post, she always packed “homeopathic” medicine for plane trips — along with candy.

27. Numbered outfits

We can only imagine how crowded the Queen’s wardrobe must have been — how did she keep track of it all? Well, she had a rather simple solution to that problem! Apparently, Elizabeth ensured that her get-ups were numbered and associated with a particular time and location. That way, she could avoid wearing the same thing on consecutive outings.

28. No foreign tap water

You always have to be a little careful with tap water in certain countries. For the Queen, though, she took no risks on her royal trips. She made a habit of bringing bottles of water with her to swerve potential health issues. And members of her entourage were told to do the same thing as well.

29. Picky about sandwiches

When it comes to sandwiches, the Queen couldn't get enough of tuna mayo. A solid choice, we’d say! Yet she wouldn't touch these finger foods if they were in a certain state. To explain more, an ex-cook for the royals called Owen Hodgson told The Telegraph, “A chef told me off for serving the sandwiches with crusts.”

30. Forks, knives, and bananas

Yes, the Queen liked bananas, but she apparently had a bizarre way of eating them. According to Hello!, Elizabeth utilized cutlery when she wanted to tuck in. This was because the monarch didn't want to look “like a monkey” as she was chowing down on the fruit. Well, that's one way to get your daily serving of potassium!

31. Shopping novice

Food shopping is a habit that we all develop, yet that was not the case for the Queen. In fact, she didn't have to do it at any point in her life. The task was apparently deemed “un-royal.” Then again, Elizabeth once stepped inside a shop as part of an engagement... and she appeared completely out of sorts!

32. No opening presents on Christmas Day

We can’t imagine opening our Christmas presents on any other day than December 25. Incredibly, though, the Queen never abided by that tradition. You see, she always jumped into her gifts on Christmas Eve, and her relatives followed suit. This habit was established by her dad King George, who apparently couldn't bear to wait for Santa Claus.

33. Free to break the law

This habit is going to sound a little odd, but bear with us. Thanks to her role as Queen, Elizabeth technically didn't need to obey the laws of the land. Yet as the royal family’s official website stated, “[She’s] careful to ensure that all her activities in her personal capacity are carried out in strict accordance with the law.” So, Elizabeth was not abusing the privilege.

34. The window situation

Ask yourself this: have you ever seen an open front window at Buckingham Palace? No? Well, the Queen had something to do with that. She wanted her home to “look perfect” when crowds were around the gates. And an ajar window would get in the way of that. Therefore, windows couldn't be unlatched outside a particular period of the day.

35. Fan mail

In total, Harper’s Bazaar reported that the Queen got roughly 70,000 letters over a 12-month period. Wow! But do you want to know what’s even more amazing? She made a habit of looking at a certain number of them as they come in. The monarch could easily give that job to someone else, yet that was not her style.

36. Rare meat

As it turned out, the Queen didn't stick rare meats on her list of favorite dishes. Mind you, that didn't stop the matriarch from eating lamb over Easter – she just had a unique method to get through it. Darren McGrady informed OK!, “The Queen likes her meat well-done, so she’d always have the first two slices.”

37. Hundreds of royal engagements

By 2015 the Queen was closing in on her 90th year. No one would’ve begrudged her to ease off the royal commitments. Yet it was a habit she couldn’t kick. By the end of that 12-month spell, The Telegraph revealed that Elizabeth racked up 341 trips. And none of the other British royals came close to that number!

38. Removing seeds

Should you ever find yourself at a royal function, take a look at the tomatoes and cucumbers laid out for the guests. You might notice something quite strange. Yes, as peculiar as it may sound, the Queen set a rule making sure that their seeds are taken out prior to everyone’s arrival. We wonder how long that takes...

39. The blood pack

Preparation was everything when the Queen was due to travel. The matriarch’s physician was asked to follow her, so they could uncover where the closest medical facilities were. On top of that, Elizabeth also brought a medical bag that held medication and a defibrillator. But the strangest item of all was a blood pack — just in case she needed a transfusion.

40. Drinking habits

Want to know what the Queen liked to drink? Well, Margaret Rhodes has you covered. Elizabeth’s cousin informed The Independent, “She takes a gin and Dubonnet before lunch, with a slice of lemon and a lot of ice. She will take wine with lunch and a dry Martini, and a glass of champagne in the evening.” Not bad!