For decades, Queen Elizabeth’s daily routine was mainly unknown to the masses. Sure, we’re aware of some of the cooky royal rules (no bare legs allowed!) and many have speculated about her inner workings (hello, The Crown!). But it wasn’t until a book has taken a real deep dive into the monarch’s day-to-day and what helped her lead such a long and healthy life.
British culture researcher, Bryan Kozlowski, extensively studied the Queen and identified the habits that contributed to her longevity in 2020 his book Long Live the Queen! 23 Rules for Living From Britain’s Longest-Reigning Monarch.
“She has aged incredibly well and is the paradigm of health and wellness,” he told the New York Post in an interview. Read on to find out how you can channel your inner royal and live a long life like the queen you are.
Despite the Queen’s busy schedule, she always found time to be active. Kozlowski notes that the she preferred “sensible exercise” which included brisk walks with her corgis (who would get their own stocking full of goodies during Christmas) and her lifelong passion of horseback riding.
“To achieve longevity, [most people] tend to think you need to maintain a rigorous fitness regime,” he explained. “Research says the types of exercise you keep up are the ones which give you pleasure.”
A Balanced Diet
Having chefs on staff to cook your favorite meals can be tempting but the Queen maintained a balanced diet, while still allowing for the occasional splurge. One of her favorites was an afternoon Darjeeling tea with sandwiches.
“She will also take the smallest sliver of cake,” Kozlowski adds. “As dietitians often advise, you should give yourself permission to have occasional treats.”
The Queen applied this same modest attitude when it came to drinking. While the rest of the royal family might settle for a pint of beer or whiskey, her drink of choice was a gin and Dubonnet, according to her former chef, Darren McGrady.
No-Fuss Beauty Regimen
One story the book details was when an aristocrat met the Queen for the first time and said, “I never realized what lovely skin she has” to Prince Philip.
Well, she didn’t have a bathroom full of fancy beauty products to thank for her youthful complexion — most of her skincare came from the moderately priced British brand, Cyclax. She however, barely worn makeup most of her life and avoided excessive sun exposure. Her favorite vacation spot in Scotland was certainly anything but tropical.
Even into her later years, the Queen was still curious about the world and was open to learning about new things. Kozlowski writes in his book that she usually spent hours looking at documents everyday.
A fun way for her to apply her newfound knowledge about a particular subject was always by trying to playfully outsmart prime ministers during their briefing sessions in Buckingham Palace. The Crown certainly capture this with Margaret Thatcher.
Adapting to Life’s Changes
As Britain’s longest serving monarch, she saw and experienced a lot. However, evolving to ever-changing circumstances was a key factor to her living a long and meaningful life.
“She has this willingness to adapt, which banishes the insidious stress you get from resisting change,” he says. “That contributes to longevity and a fulfilling existence for sure.”
He adds that the Queen viewed life with a “glass half full” attitude. “She practices what psychologists call ‘benefit-finding.’” She often used her wicked sense of humor to make a joke and lighten the mood during royal events.
Maybe it’s time we all take a cue from the Queen: She may have lived in a whole different world on so many levels, but the day-to-day mantras that have kept her healthy and happy all those years are not so foreign after all.
This article was updated on Thursday, September 8 at 3:40 pm EST. It was originally published on December 14, 2020.