It’s no secret the Queen of England is rich…very rich. But aside from money, castles, specially-tailored clothes, artworks, and a countless number of jewels, there are still a lot of things Queen Elizabeth II owns that you might find surprising. Here’s what we know about Queen Elizabeth’s long list of worldly possessions.
The Queen has publicly shown her love and admiration for dogs, more specifically, corgis. It all started when she was given a Pembroke Welsh corgi named Susan for her 18th birthday. Since then, the Queen owned 30 corgis who are all descendants of the original Royal Corgi, Susan. But unfortunately, Susan’s breed came to an end when her final descendant, Willow, died in 2018. The Queen now owns two dorgis—a mix breed between a corgi and a dachshund. But why didn’t the Queen continue breeding corgis? Well, the truth is, she loves them very much that she doesn’t want to leave a young corgi behind. Aww.
It’s pretty rare to see the Queen without a handbag. Every time she goes out and everywhere she goes, she has her handbag with her. And if you’ve noticed, all her bags look the same because it’s from the same brand. The Queen only uses Launer handbags—a British brand of luxury handbags and leather goods. She is said to own over 200 Launer handbags and her preferred styles are the Royale and the black patent Traviata. She loves the bags because it allows her to move more freely when shaking other people’s hands. The Queen also uses the bags to signal her security team and ladies in waiting.
Every dolphin in the United Kingdom
Queen Elizabeth II is the queen of the land…and the seas of England. She owns every dolphin, whale, sturgeon, and porpoise within the three-mile radius of the United Kingdom’s shores. This started from a statute in 1324 by King Edward II which states that “…The king shall have wreck of the sea throughout the realm, whales and sturgeons taken in the sea or elsewhere within the realm, except in certain places privileged by the king.”
A Gold Record
In her 50th Jubilee, the Royal family threw the queen a big party-slash-concert and invited artists and performers from various genres. One of the Beatles, Paul McCartney was also at the event and even made a special song for the Queen. After the party, a record company released a CD version of the palace party-slash concert and it sold over 100,000 copies so the record company gave the Queen a golden record. She still has a framed copy of that recognition in the Buckingham Palace.
Private Box at Wimbledon
Every year, hundreds of people pour out almost all their entire life savings just to get a court side seat at the highly anticipated Wimbledon tennis championships, but it’s not the case for the Queen. Queen Elizabeth II has an entire row of court side seats reserved just for her and the royal family. Even though the Queen doesn’t watch the games that much, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton and other members of the royal family like Meghan Markle are frequent occupants of the Royal Box. But in 2010, Her Majesty surprised the crowd when she showed up and watched the game of Andy Murray. It was the first time she watched the Wimbledon tournament in more than 30 years.
A Car Collection Worth 10 Million
Her Majesty doesn’t always go around riding carriages and horses, you know? In fact she has an extensive collection of cars that cost almost $10 million in total! Among the models in her collection are: two Bentleys, three Rolls Royces, and a custom Range Rover LWB Landaulet. She also owns a Bentley State Limousine, an official state car that is especially made for the Queen. On top of owning lots of cars, Queen Elizabeth II is also not required to have a driver’s license as every license and passport issued in the United Kingdom is under her name.
Her Own Personal ATM
Ever wondered if the Queen has the need for cash? Well, we’ll never know but what we do know is that Queen Elizabeth II has her own personal ATM inside her home. Coutts Bank set up an ATM in the basement of the Buckingham Palace that is for the use of the members of the Royal family only.
A Bat Colony
The Queen really has a special place in her heart for animals, that’s why instead of getting fazed or disgusted by the news that her summer home, Balmoral Castle in Eastern Scotland, has been taken over by a small colony of bats, she got excited. Some other royalty would call an exterminator if they knew about bats living in the ceiling of their homes, but not Queen Elizabeth, she enjoys running around and catching the bats by herself using a butterfly net. Quite an interesting hobby, Your Majesty.
The shoreline of the United Kingdom
Included in the list of the many properties the Queen owns is half of the coastline around England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This royal rule goes way back in the 1300s just like the rule on sea creatures, which declares the English sovereign to have official ownership of the shorelines.
All the swans on the River Thames
Don’t even think about stealing a swan anywhere in London because that would mean stealing directly from the Queen herself. Why? Simply because Queen Elizabeth II owns every single swan in the river Thames. An arrangement that dates back to the 15th century has the queen sharing ownership of the swans with the Worshipful Company of Vintners and the Worshipful Company of Dyers. What’s even more strange than owning every single swan is that the Royal family has an annual tradition called “Swan Upping” ceremony where they round up and count every single swan in England. There are 437 swans in last year’s count.
150,000 works of art
Aside from ruling the nation and the people, Queen Elizabeth is also in charge of The Royal Collection—one of the world’s largest and most impressive art collections. The collection has over one million works of art with 150,000 of them from the greatest and most famous masters like Rembrandt, Rubens, Raphael, and da Vinci. The artworks are not really the Queen’s property but they are entrusted to her care.
A massive Faberge collection
A tradition started by Queen Alexandra and Edward VII and a part of The Royal Collection—Fabergé eggs and accessories. These are oval shaped figurines with shells covered in gold, gemstones, and diamonds. The Queen has also been a big fan of the pieces so she has also started a collection of her own. The collection is now estimated to have around 600 pieces.
Queen Victoria’s sketchbook
During the time of Queen Victoria’s reign, the use of watercolor in paintings were becoming increasingly popular and that piqued the queen’s interest. She hired tutors and art masters to help her learn how to draw and paint using watercolor, by the end of her numerous lessons, the queen turned out to be quite a good artist herself. Now, Queen Victoria’s sketchbook is owned by Queen Elizabeth II and that being her great-great-great grandmother’s special possession, it’s rumored to be the most priceless item that the Queen has.
A winning team of racehorses
Among the many hobbies of Her Majesty is riding horses. She received her first horse, Peggy at the age of 4 and has been riding horses ever since. The gift was from her grandfather, the late King George V. Nowadays, the Queen’s love for horses has gone beyond just riding, but also investing in them, particularly racehorses. According to Harper’s Bazaar, the Queen now owns 30 racehorses in training and these horses have earned her around $9 million in wins from their races.
The Tower of London
Oh, no big deal. It’s just that the Queen owns the most popular and most prominent property in all of United Kingdom, the Tower of London. The Tower has been around since the 11th century and has played a big part in the history of the nation. Up until today, the Tower of London is still one of the most visited tourist attractions in the city. Queen Elizabeth II also owns the millions-worth crown jewels and the flock of royal raven guards that live atop the tower.
A tiara covered in 1,333 diamonds
The Queen probably has a hundred tiaras lying around the palace and among those, she also has the priciest and the most popular one—the Diamond Diadem. This tiara is covered in 1,333 pieces of diamonds, literally making the Queen shine bright like a diamond. It’s a tiara originally made for the Queen’s great-grand uncle, King George IV, for his coronation day in 1821. The Queen has worn the Diamond Diadem to every State Opening of the Parliament since 1952.
In addition to her long list of bankable properties, the Queen also owns one of the most famous churches in the world, a monumental British property, and a witness to the most important moments in Royal history—the Westminster Abbey. The church was founded way back in 960 and has since been the venue of every single royal coronation, hundreds of royal funerals, and 16 royal weddings.
All of Scotland’s gold mines
While it is common and natural for royalty to own gold, it’s an entirely different game when they own an actual gold mine, and in Queen Elizabeth II’s case, a whole country’s gold mines. So apparently, according to the Crown Estate, they own “virtually all the naturally-occurring gold and silver in the United Kingdom,” including Scotland.
The world’s largest clear-cut diamond
Aside from owning a tiara made up of 1,333 pieces of glistening diamonds, Queen Elizabeth also has the world’s largest clear-cut diamond under her care. In 1910, a gigantic diamond was unearthed in South Africa, the Cullinan I, which weighs in at 530.2 carats. The diamond was presented to Mary of Teck, the consort of George V and Elizabeth II’s grandmother, and was incorporated into the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross. This sceptre is held together with the crown during a monarch’s coronation and is a part of the crown jewels. So, since Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning monarch, she technically owns the sceptre and the crown jewels.
An Aberdeen Angus cow
Surprise! Another animal on the list and this time it’s cattle, high-class cattle. During one of the Queen’s official state visits to Canada in 2005, they gifted her two Aberdeen Angus cows at the Calgary Stampede agricultural show. She loved the present but as the cows were too big and too heavy to carry on the plane ride home, the Queen decided that they just remain in Calgary and be taken care of in her absence. Over the many state visits and tours by the Queen, she hasa received several peculiar gifts from different nations such as two sloths from a state visit in Brazil in 1968.
Her own flag
Sometime in 1960, Queen Elizabeth II requested for her own personal flag that would symobolize her as an individual, different from being sovereign or head of state. The flag created just for her carries the navy blue color and a crowned E in the middle of a circle of roses. The flag can be used for buildings or vehicles used by the Queen when travelling. Pretty cool royal perk, right?
Two tortoises from Seychelles
Unlike the Aberdeen Angus cow that the Queen received as a present but couldn’t take home, she was able to take two Aldabra tortoises home with her from Seychelles. The tortoises were also a gift given by the government and the people of Seychelles to the Queen in 1972. Aldabra tortoises are said to have a lifespan of over 250 years! So, to be able to preserve the lives of the tortoises, the Queen handed them over to the London Zoo where most of the other animal-related gifts she has received are being taken care of.
Four Guinness World Records
The Queen has done numerous tremendous and noteworthy things during her reign and the famous Guinness Book of World Records did not fail to recognize some of it. Currently, the Queen holds four Guiness World Records to her name—the world’s oldest reigning monarch, most appearances on the money of more sovereign countries than any other person, the world’s wealthiest queen, and the world’s longest reigning queen.
Henry VIII’s armor
Another priceless item from The Royal Collection, one of Henry VIII’s suits. It’s an impressive suit of armor made around the 1540s for Henry VIII. Interesting fact about the suit is that around the time that Henry VIII was going to use that, he had gained some weight and his waist size got a little wider. So to accommodate the king’s measurements, the armor was widened with a two-inch section of plate metal.
Queen Victoria’s wedding dress
In addition to her great-great-great grandmother’s sketchbook, Queen Elizabeth II also has Queen Victoria’s wedding dress. It was a very valuable dress because it changed history and shaped the future of wedding dresses. 180 years ago, wearing a white dress to your wedding wasn’t common, in fact, it was almost unheard of as during those times, dresses usually come in various lovely colors. Queen Victoria opted to use white for her wedding dress as she believed that the white fabric will showcase and highlight the more intricate details of her dress. Nowadays, white has become the standard color for wedding dresses, to symbolize the bride’s purity.