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Queen Elizabeth II is arguably the most famous woman in the world. Having ruled since 1952, the queen has certainly developed a routine for how she lives her life — one that requires her staff to do some odd jobs around the palace and beyond.

Queen Elizabeth and Kate Middleton
Queen Elizabeth and Kate Middleton | Phil Noble/WPA Pool/Getty Images

The queen has someone to break in her shoes

Everyone loves new shoes, but nobody loves breaking them in. For the queen, however, the less appealing part of the process gets skipped altogether. It turns out Queen Elizabeth does not break in her own shoes. It would be impolite to suggest that the queen walk around in pain while adjusting to a new pair of flats. Rather, her personal assistant and senior dresser, Angela Kelly, is tasked with preventing the queen from dealing with blisters.  

Royal palace staff must keep count of all the swans in England

Though the queen is known for her love of dogs, there is another animal that plays a special role in the inner workings of the royal family: swans. Each year, royal palace staff are tasked with counting the swans throughout England and checking to see if any new ones have called it home.

According to the royal family’s official website, the queen “retains the right to claim ownership of any unmarked mute swan swimming in open waters.” With that said, the swan ownership mostly focuses on the River Thames, where staffers are sent out each year to count and mark up any new swans.

There is a designated musical composer among the royal staff

Music is an important part of most events, and the royals are no strangers to hosting engagements. It turns out that a coveted job within the palace walls is that of the music composer — the one who puts songs together. The composer writes pieces for various occasions within the family, and the job is highly coveted. Though it isn’t necessarily a full-time position within the royal staff, the queen has hired well-known British composers in the past.  

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth | Samir Hussein/WireImage

Queen Elizabeth Uses a Secret Code To Communicate With Her Kitchen Staff

Someone winds up the palace clocks and keeps track of the queen’s stamp collection

The queen resides in Buckingham Palace, a massive, 828,000 square-foot home (well, palace), which apparently is chock full of clocks. There are so many analog clocks that the queen hired a royal clockmaker to care for them all (there are 450 clocks in Windsor Castle alone).

In addition to a clockmaker, the queen has also employed someone to look after her intricate stamp collection. Though the task might not seem tedious, it turns out the queen’s stamp collection is worth a staggering $130 million — definitely not the type of collection anyone would want mess up.

The palace staff are not allowed to vacuum   

Though the queen hires her staff for a particular reason, there is one thing she asks them not to do while working for her: vacuum. Vacuums are too loud within the palace walls and can be unpleasant for those living and working behind its doors. With that said, the palace staff must sweep, as it makes for a much more peaceful environment.