Buckingham Palace is Queen Elizabeth II‘s official working residence. It’s also where the monarch has lived most of her life and raised her children. The palace is massive with 828,000 square feet of living space and a total of 775 rooms.
The cost of a place that large isn’t cheap, which is why the queen demanded her staffers must do one thing to keep the cost of her electric bill low.
Queen Elizabeth is frugal
You may be surprised to learn that even with a reported net worth of around $600 million, the royal family matriarch is frugal.
In his book What’s In The Queen’s Handbag And Other Royal Secrets, author Phil Dampier wrote that “She is careful with money and always watches the pennies. She has got handbags which she has had for 30 or 40 years and which she continues to use.”
The queen has also been recycling many of her colorful outfits over the years, long before Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge made headlines for doing so. Moreover, her sons Prince Andrew and Prince Edward wore Prince Charles’ hand-me-downs as children.
Another thing the monarch likes to recycle is wrapping paper and makes sure all the paper and ribbon from holidays and birthdays are saved after gifts are unwrapped. In addition, The Express noted that it was actually the queen’s idea for her family to exchange cheap gag gifts on Christmas instead of buying expensive, extravagant presents.
The queen ordered staffers to do this to cut electricity costs
But those aren’t the only ways the monarch tries to save a buck, she makes sure that her staffers are mindful of her electric bill and implemented a rule in order to keep costs down.
There are approximately 40,000 lights in Buckingham Palace and therefore the queen’s electric bill can add up quickly. So, according to Financial Times, in 2011 she banned light bulbs more than 40 watts and had signs posted throughout the palace ordering all staff members to turn off lights whenever a room is not in use. A former employee said that she would even walk around herself noting what lights were left on before turning them off herself.
The queen also gave up heating the entire palace.
In the cold winter months, many of the rooms are heated by fireplaces or space heaters.
Prince Charles doesn’t want to live at Buckingham Palace because of costs
But no matter what she has her staff do, Buckingham Palace is still a lot to maintain and that’s the biggest reason why Prince Charles doesn’t want to live there in the future.
According to multiple reports, the Prince of Wales has no interest in making the palace his primary residence when he becomes king.
“I know he is no fan of ‘the big house’, as he calls the palace,” a source told The Sunday Times. “He doesn’t see it as a viable future home or a house that’s fit for purpose in the modern world. He feels its upkeep, both from a cost and environmental perspective, is not sustainable.”