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
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.