The Queen’s Life at “Home” More Relatable Than You May Think

Can you imagine Her Majesty with yellow dishwashing gloves on?

Queen Elizabeth
(Image credit: Getty Images)

At her former primary residence, Buckingham Palace, and at her current home, Windsor Castle, the Queen has a staff on hand to take care of most of the chores we non-royals dread: The laundry. Vacuuming. Washing the dishes after a meal.

But when Her Majesty and late husband Prince Philip were at Wood Cottage on the Sandringham Estate—the place the Duke of Edinburgh fondly referred to as “home”—the Queen felt so, well, at home that she even put on yellow dishwashing gloves and offered to clean up after lunch, a royal courtier said.

Royal life behind closed doors is actually apparently pretty modest and normal, according to the Mirror. Case in point? Royal expert and author Harry Mount shared that a former royal courtier once told him “they’d seen the Queen sporting her own yellow Marigolds, ready to chip in with the post-meal cleanup,” the outlet reports.

“I was once at a shooting lunch. At the end of lunch, I heard someone say, ‘I’ll do the washing up.’ I turned around and there was the Queen in her yellow washing up gloves,” he told the Telegraph, via the Mirror.

The five-bedroom coastal Norfolk Wood Cottage is, according to the Mirror, “modest by royal standards,” and has been owned by the Queen throughout her 70 years on the throne. Though Wood Cottage mostly served as a holiday home for the family, upon his retirement from royal duties in 2017, Philip made it his permanent home. He lived at Wood Cottage until the beginning of the pandemic, when he moved to Windsor Castle with his wife. It was there that he passed away peacefully on April 9, 2021.

Relatable royals—we love it.

Rachel Burchfield
Contributing Royal Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.