Is Queen Elizabeth the most frugal royal ever? She is worth $500 million, yet she proudly wears a $10 nail polish, saves wrapping paper and even recycles bedsheets

Live like the queen: money-saving tips straight from the Buckingham Palace. Photo: @theroyalfamily/Instagram


Queen Elizabeth, whose estimated net worth totals about US$500 million, is known for being surprisingly disciplined and frugal when it comes to spending her fortune. Below are just a few of the many money-saving – and environmentally-friendly – habits she’s practised through the years:

HRH Queen Elizabeth, a frugal royal? Photo: @theroyalfamily/Instagram

Often called ‘very modest’ by staff, it has been said that most of the time Queen Elizabeth uses only 6 of the 775 rooms in her sprawling palace

Buckingham Palace. Photo: @buckingham.palace.pictures/Instagram

The queen’s dressmaker revealed in Daily Mirror that she regularly occupies her bedroom; her private sitting room; her dressing room and bathroom; the Audience Room, which is where she meets with dignitaries; and the Empire Room, which functions as the waiting room.

Buckingham Palace Bedroom. Photo: @buckingham.palace.pictures/Instagram

Queen Elizabeth reuses her bedsheets – repurposing them as cushion covers – and also recycles ribbons and gift wrappers
In the same report, source Adam Helliker disclosed how the queen extends the lifespan of her bedsheets: “Her Majesty is continuing to get good use from the bedspreads she rescued from the former Royal Yacht Britannia when the ship was decommissioned in 1997.”

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Reusing and recycling ever since she was young, biographer Kate Williams shared in Daily Express how the queen had always rescued wrapping paper and ribbons after Christmas, and she would “smooth them out to be saved”. Williams adds how she prefers that family members give each other practical gifts, such as a kettle or ironing board.

Queen Elizabeth, healthy, happy – and frugal. Photo: @theroyalfamily/Instagram

Queen Elizabeth is known for her modest diet, preferring to eat fish, veggies and salad, and doesn’t mind using simple table- and kitchenware
Of her daily meals, Vogue magazine calls the queen’s breakfast “the simplest of all” – Her Majesty beginning her day eating Kellogg’s Cornflakes out of tupperware.

Former chef Darren McGrady revealed on CNN how the queen is disciplined when it comes to her diet. To keep herself strong and healthy, she sticks to grilled or poached fish and her greens. Likewise, she doesn’t mind her kitchen staff using pots and pans that date as far back as the 1800s, all of which still have Queen Victoria’s stamp on them. “The queen’s not really bothered about food,” added McGrady. “All she cares about are horses and dogs”.

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Queen Elizabeth keeps her beauty staples simple. Photo: @queenelizabethiistyle/Instagram

Besides her signature Launer handbags, gloves and black patent shoes, Queen Elizabeth has one other fashion staple: Essie’s Ballet Slippers nail polish, which costs less than US$10!
In 1989, according to Glamour magazine, the queen’s hairdresser requested a specific “no-nail polish” nail polish shade, as the queen isn’t too fond of coloured nails. Essie’s Ballet Slippers blush instantly became her staple.

Buckingham Palace Drawing Room. Photo: @unitedkingdomroyalty/Instagram

Queen Elizabeth is keen on cutting back on electricity – she once put up signs reminding staff to turn off the lights when not in use and even inspects the palace herself
Showbiz Cheat Sheet reported there to be an estimated 40,000 lights in the Palace. To help save on electricity, the queen decided to ban the use of light bulbs of greater than 40 watts.

Note: This story was originally published on SCMP and has been republished on this website.