The Frugal Windsors

Her Majesty at Balmoral Castle (photo: The Telegraph)

According to Rich List 2018 by The Sunday Times, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has saved more than 65 billion GBP and reached a total of £724 billion. No matter how much seh has saved for the rainy days, she is only the 344th richest person in the world.

What ways are the Windors frugal*?
*frugal: spending very little money and only on things that are really necessary (MacMillan Dictionary)

  • the drawing room in Buckingham Palace is sometimes heated with a cheap electric heater (costs 30 GBP, placed in the fireplace);
  • Light bulbs using more than 40W are banned and must be turned off;
  • The Queen posted signs around the 775-roomed Palace to remind the staff switching the lights off – if forgotten, according to an employee, she does it herself;
  • Old newspapers are shredded for use as horses’ bedding;
  • String from parcels is saved to be tied again;
  • At Balmoral Estate in Scotland, where the Queen spends the hottest summer days, any damage to the walls is patched up by wallpaper bought more than a century ago by Queen Victoria – with Her Majesty reasoning that it would be wasteful to splash out on new dcoration when there are perfectly good rolls of wallpaper left over by her great-great-grandmother;
  • At breakfast she insists that her cornflakes and porridge oats are kept in airtight Tupperware containers in order to prolong their life;
  • She has been using handbags for 30 or 40 years and she continues to use the former ones;
  • The Queen is also perfectly happy to recycle her own wardrobe;
  • The Windsors don’t have private jets, they often travel on commercial airlines in economy class;
  • In the country when travelling, the Queen often takes the train;
  • Prince George wore an outfit 30 years after his father William wore it in 1984;
  • Prince William and Kate Middleton buy IKEA furniture into their children’s rooms;
  • The Windsors usually eat leftovers, too;
  • They eat simple homemade food and fish instead of luxuries e.g. caviar;
  • Tradition of the family exchanging only the most basic of gifts: the Queen was reportedly thrilled one year to receive an electric kettle and a see-through umbrella and another year to have given Princess Anne an ironing board as a Christmas present.
  • In 1999 the Queen secured a huge discount on staff Christmas puddings by switching her order from Harrods’s to Tesco – and then donated the clubcard loyalty points to homeless shelter Crisis.

“Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves” – as Prince Philip once said: “Look after the millions and the billions look after themselves.”



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