The Queen's secret cleaning habit proves she really is just like us

·2 min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

When you think of life behind the doors of any royal palace, we're sure images of the Queen with a mop and bucket don't exactly spring to mind. But, as it turns out, Her Majesty isn't quite as afraid of getting her hands dirty as we've all been lead to believe. In fact, she even does her own dishes, according to one royal source.

Speaking to The Telegraph, royal expert and author Harry Mount recalled a former royal courtier once told him: "I was once at a shooting lunch. At the end of lunch, I heard someone say, 'I’ll do the washing-up'. I turned around and there was the Queen in her yellow washing-up gloves."

Who'd have thought the Queen would be the owner of a pair of Marigolds, eh!?

The surprising incident happened at Wood Cottage on the Sandringham Estate, where the Queen and her late husband Prince Philip spent much of his retirement. The charming five-bedroom farmhouse was affectionately described as "home" by the late Duke of Edinburgh.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

But, Wood Cottage isn't the only place where Her Majesty likes to keep the standards high as far as cleaning goes. As it turns out, there's a pretty unusual test that any prospective royal cleaner needs to pass before they find themselves vacuuming the floors at Buckingham Palace or dusting the windowsills at Windsor Castle.

Speaking on Channel 5's Sandringham: The Royals at Christmas documentary, Tracey Waterman (head of royal recruitment) shared details of the test she and her team have devised to ensure they employ the absolute best in the business.

It's called the 'dead fly test' and – like the name suggests – sees the recruitment team hide a dead fly in one of the royal rooms. "One of the tests I like to do, to see if a candidate has potential eye for detail, is to place a dead fly, either in the fireplace or on the carpet," Tracey explained. "Once the dead fly is placed, I then bring the candidate into the room."

She continued: "It’s a great test, maybe out of 10 people half the candidates will notice the fly. One out of ten will actually bend down and pick it up, that’s the special housekeeper. The difference between a housekeeper in a five-star hotel and in a royal palace would be attention to detail."

The more you know!

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