10 Bizarre Rumors About the Royal Family That Aren’t True
Don’t believe everything you read about the British royal family.
Kings and queens have been plagued by scandal since the beginning of the British monarchy. Some of the more intriguing things you’ll read about them — such as how they fly on commercial airlines and even travel with their own blood — are absolutely true. But then there are other myths many people believe in error.
Ahead, check out the most common rumors about the royal family that simply aren’t factual.
1. Prince Charles is incredibly picky about his hard-boiled eggs
So many Brits believe this rumor, which originates in Jeremy Paxman’s book On Royalty. Paxman wrote the Charles insists his chef make seven hard-boiled eggs every morning, so the future king can choose the one that’s cooked to his exacting standards.
However, Charles has an FAQ section on his website that provides the real answer to the rumor. In response to the question — “Does the Prince of Wales have seven boiled eggs cooked for his breakfast but only eat one, as claimed in Jeremy Paxman’s book On Royalty?” — it says, “No, he doesn’t and never has done, at breakfast or any other time.”
Next: How much does Queen Elizabeth really drink?
2. The queen indulges in 4 alcoholic drinks per day
This wild rumor is just a simple misquote.
When Queen Elizabeth’s former personal chef Darren McGrady started listing the queen’s favorite drinks, one tabloid reporter took it to mean that she enjoyed all four libations every day. In reality, he was simply saying which drinks she liked, not providing a daily drink log.
“I’m pretty confident she doesn’t have four drinks a day,” McGrady told Reader’s Digest. “She’d be pickled.”
Next: The line of succession won’t change.
3. Prince Charles will be skipped in line for the throne
There’s no denying that Prince William is a more popular (and more good-looking) future monarch than his father. But despite all the rumors, that doesn’t mean Queen Elizabeth will skip Charles in the line of succession.
The monarchy is steeped in centuries of tradition — it’s not a popularity contest. The queen doesn’t have the power to change the line of succession. So unless Prince Charles abdicates the throne, he’ll become king when the queen dies.
Next: Some believe these extinct spiders live on.
4. Windsor Castle is infested with giant, venomous spiders
British tabloids picked up this story back in 2001, and the rumor still refuses to die.
According to a few dubious sources, Windsor Castle is teeming with a species of rare, venomous spiders that was thought to be extinct for thousands of years. In reality, there are some common spiders in the living basement — and nothing more.
Next: This emergency method of escape isn’t practical.
5. The Mall in London is also an emergency airstrip
It may be long and look a little bit like a runway, but the .58-mile road leading up to Buckingham Palace is not intended for planes.
The rumor says the royal family could escape via plane in an emergency using The Mall as a runway. In reality, the road is too short and narrow for any kind of modern airplane. The royal family is much more likely to evacuate via helicopter because they can easily land on the palace lawn.
Next: The Duchess of Cambridge can’t stand this drink.
6. Kate Middleton prefers almond milk
The organizers of an afternoon tea event believed this rumor and offered the Duchess of Cambridge almond milk instead of cow milk. Her response left no question as to whether the rumor was true. “Don’t believe everything you read. I don’t even like almond milk,” she said.
Next: There is some confusion over Queen Elizabeth I’s gender.
7. Queen Elizabeth I was really a man
Blame Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, on this untrue rumor. His book Famous Imposters posed the theory that young Elizabeth was sent away to avoid the plague but died anyway. When her father, King Henry VIII, came to retrieve her, the villagers had replaced the little girl with a boy dressed in her clothing. Stoker wasn’t trying to cause controversy — he truly believed this rumor was true.
Next: How powerful is the queen?
8. The queen has no real power
The United Kingdom has a parliamentary democracy, not a monarchy, so the queen is more of a figurehead than a ruler, right? Well, kind of.
The queen may not have absolute power like many of her predecessors, but she does have the authority to declare war, create orders of knighthood, and appoint the prime minister after an election.
Next: King George didn’t back down during the war.
9. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth remained in London during WWII
The rumor says the royal family showed their solidarity with British citizens by remaining in Buckingham Palace even as the Germans were dropping bombs during World War I.
Really, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth hid out about 90 minutes away in Windsor Castle in Berkshire during nights and weekends. Their daughters, Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth, stayed in the countryside full time.
Next: Here’s how you know whether the queen is home.
10. The Union flag indicates that the queen is home
Flags can often send messages without saying a word. When the Union flag — also known as the national flag of the United Kingdom — is displayed, that means the queen is away. When the Royal Standard flag is at the top of the pole, it means the queen is home.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!