Nothing is ever entirely clean in my home. There’s always something else that needs my attention: mirrors, windows, dishwashing, vacuuming the floors, getting another load of laundry on; the chores just never end, before they seem to start up all over again.
If this is a sentiment you can relate to, spare a thought for the Queen’s cleaning staff. A fascinating insight into the domestic life of our monarch has just emerged, revealing that Queen Elizabeth II‘s royal cleaners have some rather particular rules they must adhere to as they carry out their endless tidying tasks. The most unusual mandate? They’re not allowed to use vacuum cleaners.
Picture it. Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms. Windsor Castle has over 1,000 rooms. Balmoral Castle has more than 52 bedrooms alone. Yet none of the cleaning staff can use vacuum cleaners to hoover the carpets.
Why, you may ask. This prohibition is reportedly due to the excess noise that vacuum cleaners make.
Instead of vacuuming the floors in each of the Royals’ households and castles, cleaning staff must sweep the floors and carpets – a much quieter, less audibly invasive alternative to preserve Her Majesty’s Ears.
These reports are confirmed by Royal Servants, a through-the-keyhole documentary into royal-helper life. The doco reveals that “the best servant is one that is neither seen nor heard”.
One cleaner added: “Cleaners sweep carpets, lest royal ears are offended by vacuum cleaners.”
Among other royal cleaning revelations; in the kitchen, staff must always store Queen Elizabeth’s cereal in Tupperware containers, according to Internation Business Times. This is not for any aesthetic reason, or to keep up with TikTok trends, but rather, purely to satisfy the Queen’s tastebuds. Reportedly, Queen Elizabeth prefers her favourite cereal, Special K, to be stored in Tupperware, as it keeps the cereal fresher. Sources make no mention of whether the Queen has a preference for how to clean and store her Tupperware, when it’s not in use as a cereal box.
Another random rule is one that bans dog owners from bringing their pets to work. Despite the Queen’s intense adoration of dogs, and being a staunch Corgi lover and owner herself, this rule was enacted in 2018 by the head of the Queen’s household, Lord Chamberlain.
Lord Chamberlain announced this unpopular decision, citing hygiene and security concerns.
Sticking with dogs, here’s a curve ball for you. The Queen has mandated that her dogs, (of which two, dachshund x corgis, remain) have personal butlers. The butlers are there to ensure that each dog has its “needs attended to”, as reported in Town & Country. Each canine has a personal porcelain bowl to dine from, too. While this isn’t so much a cleaning rule, one can imagine that it would entail regular elbow grease from the royal help.
So next time you’re vacuuming your bedroom floor, or cracking open a fresh box of Rice Bubbles, spare a thought for the Queen’s staff and be grateful. At least you don’t have to take orders from a dog.