There has been quite the speculation over Queen Elizabeth II’s iPod (not to mention her handbag, but we’ve already found the real reason the Queen always carries a purse). In 2009, the Obama family gave Her Majesty a classic iPod loaded with audio files of his speeches and photos of his inauguration, and the British press was quick to criticize. Why? The queen already owned an iPod (a silver iPod Mini bought in 2005, in case you were curious). When eagle-eyed royal fans spotted an iPod sitting in rare photos from Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s Scottish home, the chatter started back up. Just what does the Queen of Britain listen to in her free time?
Taking a wild guess, you might imagine Her Royal Highness likes to fill her home with the best of Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach. Or maybe she likes to listen to throwback ’40s hits from when she was a teen. Actually, none of those really encapsulates the Queen’s eclectic taste in music. (Check out these other 8 fascinating facts about Queen Elizabeth.)
Turns out, the Queen is actually a big fan of show tunes—two of her top ten favorite songs, according to BBC, include “Oklahoma!” and “Anything You Can Do (Annie Get Your Gun”)” from the musicals in their titles.
Her Majesty also is a fan of hymns, with “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven” and “The Lord Is My Shepherd” making the list, too. Other top favorites include Fred Astaire’s “Cheek to Cheek,” Vera Lynn’s “The White Cliffs of Dover,” and George Formby’s “Leaning on a Lamp-Post.”
Others have given a bigger sneak peek into Elizabeth’s taste in music, though. At one banquet, a BBC radio DJ Chris Evans says he started to play ABBA’s “Dancing Queen.” And as the name might suggest, Elizabeth turned into a dancing queen. “I always try to dance when this song comes on, because I am the Queen, and I like to dance,” she reportedly told her guests. Can’t argue with that. (Find out what kind of music can trigger happy memories.)
But that’s not the only song the queen loves to bop to. In addition to Scottish ballads, military music, and Elton John, the monarch seems to have a soft spot for 1960s pop. Her favorite Beach Boys song is “California Girls,” royal biographer Ingrid Seward tells Vogue. Who would have thought?
Is your taste in music similar to the Queen’s? Find out what your favorite music says about you.