The 15 Most Bizarre Perks of the Royal Family
Having your shoelaces ironed or toothpaste squeeze onto your toothbrush are just some of the perks the royals have access to.
Ironed shoelacesTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock(3)
Prince Charles has three personal valets, all dedicated to maintaining the wardrobe of the prince and picking out what he will wear. Another thing they are responsible for? They have to iron the shoelaces on every pair of shoes the prince owns. (These are etiquette rules everyone in the royal family must follow.)
The Queen can ban humorTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock(3)
Once Queen Elizabeth II dies, the people of Britain are banned from being funny on public television—seriously. BBC isn’t allowed to air anything humorous for the 12 days between her death and funeral. In the event of the queen’s passing, BBC will immediately stop what they’re doing, make the announcement of her death, and start airing the documentaries about the Queen’s life that have been pre-recorded. The station even has black suits and ties ready to be thrown on at a moment’s notice. (You will never, ever hear the royal family say these words.)
The potatoes are measuredTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock(2)
All potatoes are measured before they are served at Buckingham Palace. Why? It’s to make sure that they are of similar dimensions and don’t throw off the appearance of the dinner plate.
Someone to break in your shoesTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock(3)
The queen hires someone to break in her shoes for her so she doesn’t have to suffer in stiff, new shoes. She simply can’t be seen complaining about uncomfortable footwear or wanting to change her shoes so someone else makes sure they are comfortable for her. (These are surprisingly frugal spending habits of the royal family.)
No washing machinesTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock(2)
Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla’s clothes are not allowed to be cleaned in washing machines—everything is hand washed. When they sent their clothing away to be cleaned, they found that some items of clothing were kept as souvenirs.
Warm biscuitsTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock(4)
Prince Charles enjoys cheese and biscuits at the end of many of his meals. Since he’s particular about everything, he insists that they be a certain temperature. The staff keeps a warming pan just to make sure they are hot enough for his liking. (The royal family is not allowed to give out autographs for this very important reason.)
A bagpipe morningTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock(2)
Queen Elizabeth prefers to be woken up by Scottish bagpipes. A piper plays under her window each morning from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
No cornered sandwichesTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock(3)
Sandwiches served to the royal family never, ever have right angle corners—you’ll find that each sandwich has rounded edges. It’s rumored that the sandwich rule started because Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, thought it was unlucky to eat anything in the shape of a coffin.
Ownership of fishTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock(3)
The queen owns all dolphins, whales, and porpoises that come within three miles of Britain’s shores. Technically, the law also gives her the right to eat them, but the royal family is going to stick to these bizarre eating habits instead.
Ownership of swansTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock(3)
The queen owns most of the swans in the UK—she shares ownership of all the swans on the River Thames with the Worshipful Companies of Dyers and Vintners. Every July, a ceremony known as “swan upping” is held, where the swans are counted and checked for any injuries (here’s where you can learn more about the history of swan upping and British royalty). She’s also the only person in Britain that can eat swan.
Personal toothbrush squeezerTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock(2)
At one point in time, Prince Charles had a personal valet help him with his nighttime routine. Michael Fawcett, one of his valets, would squeeze toothpaste onto his toothbrush every night.
No licenseTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock(2)
Even though she doesn’t do much driving of her own, Queen Elizabeth doesn’t need a license to get around the U.K. (The royals have banned their kids from having these very popular toys.)
Everything is paid by the stateTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock(4)
Another nice perk of being a member of the royal family? Having your bills paid by the Sovereign Grant, a grant “provided by Government to the Royal Household in support of the Queen’s official duties” according to the royal family’s official website. The maintenance and upkeep of several royal residences are covered, as well as the salaries of employees of the royal family.
Sailing shipsTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock(3)
The queen has the right to commandeer any British ship—and watch out, because she’s done it before.
No IDsTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock(3)
In addition to not needing a license, the Queen doesn’t need any form of identification. Police officers aren’t allowed to ask her for one because she’s not required to have one. (Read more fascinating facts—and a few scandals—about Queen Elizabeth II.)