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The Queen's Favourite Activities

A Guide to the Queen's Favourite Activities

On the 9th of September 2015, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British Monarch in history, having ascended to the throne in 1952. And as of February of this year, Her Majesty further extended her royal ruling record as she became the first British Monarch to reign for 70 years.

The Queen’s extraordinary reign – which has witnessed times of huge historical importance from the Cuban Missile Crisis to the birth of the Internet and the fall of the Berlin Wall – has been one characterised by a steadfast sense of duty and a devotion to a life of service. Her career has seen 14 prime ministers and included endless Royal engagements, international tours and an impressive dedication to public and voluntary service. This is evident in the Queen’s roles as either Royal Patron or President for over 600 charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organisations.

But while the Queen has lived out the majority of her public life in front of cameras and crowds, many may wonder how Her Royal Highness chooses to spend her time in private moments. Here, we take a look at Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite activities and interests outside of her work on the throne.

A Spot of Afternoon Tea

Former Royal Chef, Darren McGrady, recently revealed that Her Majesty prefers to eat her scones in the traditional Cornish way, adding jam before cream. In fact, other sources have reported the Queen enjoys afternoon tea just as much as the rest of her loyal subjects, as The Royal Family are said to partake in tea at around 5pm, no matter where they may be in the world.

There’s no denying that afternoon tea is a truly British tradition, with people today enjoying tea and treats before dinnertime just as much as the seventh Duchess of Bedford first did almost 200 years ago! And while afternoon tea can come in all shapes, sizes and themes in modern times, there is not a doubt in our mind that only the most traditional, sophisticated and decadent will do for the Queen.

Afternoon Tea

A Day at the Races

To say the Queen harbours a profound passion for horses and racing is quite the understatement. From a young age, Her Royal Highness has been extremely well-versed in the world of horse breeding, closely following the progress of her impressive thoroughbreds at the Royal Stud at Hampton Court. As of 2021, the Queen has earned more than £8 million in prize money on flat races in Britain alone, boasting 527 winning horses on her illustrious horseracing record.

Queen Elizabeth II has opened almost every Royal Ascot meeting since she first attended the event in 1945 and, just last year, Her Majesty was inducted into the QIPCO British Champions Series Hall of Fame – a special honour that served to recognise her unwavering support for British flat racing.

Day at the races

A Trip to a Polo Match

The Royal Family are tireless patrons of many sports, including horse racing, tennis and of course, polo. Prince Philip in particular was an avid polo player, gifting Prince Charles his first mallet at the age of 15 and only retiring from the field himself due to arthritis at 50 years old. And while the men of the family have continued to play the sport across the generations, polo has been a huge source of enjoyment for the ladies of the House of Windsor too.

Throughout her reign, Queen Elizabeth II has been spotted at many a polo fixture cheering on the players and ponies. As we’ve already mentioned, the Queen’s love of horses is well documented, but unlike the formality and pomp of the races, polo has provided the public with the chance to see Her Majesty enjoying sport in a more relaxed setting, enjoying picnics and supporting from the sidelines on deck chairs with her family.

Polo Match Experiences

An Adventure in the Highlands

Every summer, the Queen escapes London to her beloved Balmoral – the family’s 50,000 acre estate in the Scottish Highlands. A rare opportunity to relax and unwind away from official engagements, Her Majesty is known to enjoy walks with her precious dogs in the verdant landscape, off-road drives in her iconic Land Rover, gardening, horse riding, picnics and many other leisurely pastimes.

Princess Eugenie described Balmoral Castle as the monarch’s favourite residence in the recent Our Queen at Ninety documentary, sharing that her grandmother “really, really loves the Highlands”. The Royal Family’s fondness for Balmoral Castle began in 1852 when the grounds were purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert, with Queen Victoria affectionately referring to the country estate as her “dear paradise”.

An adventure in the Highlands

Searching for More Royal Experiences to Enjoy?

For regal experience gifts like no other, look no further than London – the home of the British throne. From luxurious hotel stays to tours of Kew Gardens and Palace, River Thames cruises with afternoon tea and unforgettable West End shows, our incredible selection of London experiences are sure to make them feel like kings and queens.