Does Queen Elizabeth II Watch TV? What Are Her Favorite Shows?

Though Queen Elizabeth II leads a relatively private life considering her status, there’s plenty we’ve learned about her over the years. We know her morning routine includes waking to bagpipes, and she enjoys a few signature cocktails throughout the day. Not only this, but she’s also constantly in the public eye on official business.

When it comes to her downtime, however, does the queen partake in watching television? It turns out she enjoys sitting and watching her favorite shows just like the rest of us. Here’s what’s probably playing in Kensington Palace.

She’s a big fan of Downton Abbey — though she notes its inaccuracies

Queen Elizabeth II has a lot of royal rules.

Queen Elizabeth II has a lot of royal rules. | Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

It shouldn’t surprise too many that the queen loves historical dramas like Downton Abbey. This show (which is set in Britain, of course) follows the Crawley family, their lives, and everything that happens in the early 1900s. Considering the queen was born in 1926, she lived through many of the events the show touches on.

The Telegraph reports that not only does the queen watch Downton Abbey, but she also picks up on the historical inaccuracies throughout the show. As royal journalist Brian Hoey, the author of At Home With the Queen, told the publication, “We were talking about Trooping the Colour and how the Queen always notices if anything is not quite right … Apparently she is exactly the same when she is watching the television.” According to Hoey, he was told that the queen loves pointing out when things aren’t right in the show because she’s personally familiar with where it was filmed.

She also might be watching Britain’s Got Talent

You may expect the queen to only have the most refined taste in television — but evidently she might get sucked into reality TV like the rest of us. Magician Richard Jones won one season of Britain’s Got Talent and has reportedly performed his tricks for the royals in the past, express.co.uk reports. Jones also commented that when speaking to Prince Harry, the royal revealed that he watched Jones’ semi-final performance on TV — and he also said the queen watched, too. As Jones said, “I don’t know whether the Queen really watches TV but he did mention that she enjoyed it, so I hope that’s true.”

As for other reality TV shows the queen may be watching, Mirror Online notes she’s told others in the past that she watches The X Factor. 

She reportedly likes Pointless, a quiz show

When she’s not watching reality TV or Downton Abbey, the queen reportedly loves the quiz show, Pointless. The quizmaster Alexander Armstrong said that palace insiders confirmed the queen is an avid watcher of the show, Daily Mail Online reports. And another source told the publication that the queen once “bumped into the programme by accident as it precedes the BBC1 News at Six.”

Is the queen any good at quiz games? Apparently not, according to the royal source. In their words, “When the family is together she prefers parlour games such as charades rather than factual quizzes like Trivial Pursuit at which, I was once told, she is notoriously bad.”

Does the queen watch The Crown?

The Crown

The Crown | Netflix

The Crown chronicles Queen Elizabeth’s life — so does she view it? Marie Claire notes apparently both the queen and Prince Philip have seen the show — and the queen reportedly loves it. A source close to the royals said she may have found some aspects of it overly dramatized, but that’s not too surprising.

Philip doesn’t seem to be a fan, however. Matt Smith, the actor who plays Prince Philip on the show, revealed that he doesn’t think the royal watches The Crown at all.

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