Frugal Habits of Queen Elizabeth and the British Royal Family

Updated on October 3, 2019
revmjm profile image

Margaret Minnicks is an online writer who writes about the royal family.

Queen Elizabeth is very wealthy. She has crowns, tiaras, diamonds, expensive brooches and other pieces of jewelry. She has art and rare paintings. She owns houses, castles, palaces, expensive furniture, farms, thoroughbreds, and expensive cars. Even with all those things and a bank account of about $550 million, the 93-year-old is very frugal. In fact, she is more frugal than some poor people.

Queen Elizabeth is not only wealthy, but she is also a very powerful woman. She is the head of the United Kingdom and 15 Commonwealth realms. A list of some of the things the 93-year-old monarch does to save money will surprise you.

Buckingham Palace has about 40,000 lights throughout the rooms and corridors. To keep the electricity bills from adding up, the monarch posted signs around the building to remind the palace staff to turn off all lights when they are not in use, according to Financial Times. She checks to see if the lights are off in empty rooms. It not, she turns them off herself.

In the wintertime, Queen Elizabeth uses a very inexpensive space heater to keep warm instead of turning up the thermostat.

The Queen Recycles

Biographer Kate Williams stated that Queen Elizabeth doesn't throw away gift wrapping paper, ribbons, or bows. She smooths out the paper and reuses it. She believes it is a waste to throw away the wrappings when they can still be used.

Speaking of gifts, the Queen and members of her family do not go overboard on giving family members expensive gifts. They give gag gifts instead that cost very little. Queen Elizabeth gives her staff gift vouchers and Christmas puddings.

Queen Elizabeth recycles her outfits because she is frugal. She has worn many of her ensembles more than once. Sometimes changes are made so the outfits can look a little different. The monarch's staff keeps a log of what Queen Elizabeth wears. The pieces are named and described on a spreadsheet to prevent her from wearing the same outfit or the same color so close together while on official duty. For example, the turquoise and yellow flower ensemble that the Queen wore on tour in India in 1997 was worn two years later during a visit to Seoul, South Korea. It was not seen again until 2003 at the polo at Windsor Great Park.

Queen Elizabeth tends to wear her leisure clothes until they are no longer useful to her. If more life is left in the clothes she doesn't want any longer, she gives them away.



Queen Elizabeth always wears a practical heel that is 2¼ inch. She hasn't changed her shoe style in over 50 years. She wears the same shoes over and over. Instead of buying new shoes, she gets them re-heeled. If she does buy a pair of new shoes, she gets someone on her staff to wear them for a few days to break them in so they won't be tight on her feet.


With as much money as Queen Elizabeth has, you would think a pair of worn-out gloves would be thrown away. The Queen of England is against that kind of waste. She believes in repairing instead of replacing worn-out items. She has her gloves repaired instead of purchasing new ones. Biographers say she still has pairs of gloves from 40 years ago.



The one thing that the Queen favors very much is her handbag. Her Majesty is almost never seen without a handbag on her arm. That's one thing she doesn't mind spending money own. She owns over 200 Launer bags with a price tag that starts at $1,000 each.

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, Is Frugal

Most celebrities wear their outfits in public just once, Queen Elizabeth and Kate Middleton have been seen wearing the same outfit to more than one official event. Neither one of them comes close to Princess Anne who has kept some of her favorite outfits for more than 35 years.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge can afford to dress their children in stylish outfits all the time, but Prince George and Princess Charlotte have been seen wearing hand me downs many times. Prince George has worn an outfit that his dad originally worn to Prince Harry’s christening back in 1984. Princess Charlotte wore the same shoes her uncle Prince Harry wore more than 30 years before when he was two years old.

Royals Do Their Own Cooking

The royals surely can afford to have chefs prepare their meals, but that is not the norm for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge or the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Kate Middleton reportedly does most of the cooking for her family, including making Prince William’s favorite roast chicken dinner.

Meghan Markle is a foodie and she reported that she was cooking chicken when Prince Harry proposed to her. All four of the royals also do their own grocery shopping.

Are you frugal?

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    • profile image

      Ananda Jayasooriya 

      8 months ago

      Love to hear the Queen's charm lifestyle, Actually, she is a example for us, thanks for publishing this article.I was looking herself from my childhood and what I like her most is her dressing style which made us to attract her and respect her very much.Still most of the Sri Lankans speak about her lifestyle.My grandparents have told me lot of stories about the British Royals proudly and they gave me a special gift which was about one Penny, Queen Victoria.Five years ago, I was waiting to see the Queen in Sri Lanka but it was not happened only Price Charles visited Sri Lanka.That was lovely.The photos of the British Royal bring me happy and proud, Love the Queen and God Bless Her.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      9 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Patricia, Yes, $1,000 for a purse! That's contrary to having her gloves repaired.

    • profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      9 months ago

      Interesting and a bit amusing...$1000 purses? O my. Angels are headed your way this evening. ps

    • Cheryl E Preston profile image

      Cheryl E Preston 

      9 months ago from Roanoke

      I had no idea they did their own cooking.

    • Cheryl E Preston profile image

      Cheryl E Preston 

      9 months ago from Roanoke

      She looks lovely in yellow. I’m amazed at how she controlled what the women wore to the wedding.


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