Queen Elizabeth ‘is so frugal, she saves rubber bands’ & has a giant ball of them


I have long been a fan of Us Weekly’s “25 Things You Don’t Know About” feature, usually when it’s a celebrity sitting down and making up some crazy listicle of genuinely bonkers factoids about themselves. I would love to read Queen Elizabeth’s list, if she actually wanted to make one. Instead, Us Weekly just made their list based off of biographies of the Queen and interviews from her ex-staffers, one would assume. Some of it is common knowledge: the Queen is frugal about some things, she doesn’t carry much in her purse, she’s a good mimic. Some highlights:

The queen is so frugal, she saves rubber bands — and has a giant rubber band ball to show for it!

She regularly wanders around her homes switching off lights to conserve energy.

She always carries a handbag. Her bags are bespoke and completely unique to her. No one else has them.

In her purse she always carries a small compact, lipstick and a white linen handkerchief with the initial “E.”

She also always wears neutral nail polish.

Her most important possessions are her dispatch box keys, which unlock confidential information between her and her government ministers, and her family. She carries the keys on a St. Christopher chain that her father gave to her.

The queen prefers the company of ordinary people to royals and celebrities.

She particularly likes talking to anyone who’s interested in horses, dogs or the countryside.

She’s good at accents, particularly Scottish and London’s East End dialects.

Chocolate is her guilty pleasure. She prefers Kit Kats and Cadbury to the fancy stuff.

She doesn’t love modern technology; she prefers an old-fashioned newspaper to reading on her phone.

As someone who was homeschooled, she was always a bit of a loner.

The queen takes an Earl Grey tea at 5 p.m. Her Majesty was recently advised to give up cocktails, but when she did drink, she’d opt for a gin and Dubonnet.

She’s a bit formal. She treats her staff with respect but isn’t quite as chummy with them as Duchess Kate and Prince William are with theirs.

She’s said she would’ve been happy to have been a farmer’s wife!

[Us Weekly, print edition, December 6, 2021]

I don’t think of Liz as a loner, although she probably is more of a loner these days. In the olden days, she preferred her sister’s company or her mother’s company. I think losing both her sister and her mother almost two decades ago was one of the hardest things she’s ever been through. I’ve also heard that the Queen isn’t a huge tea drinker normally, although maybe that’s changed since she was told to stop boozing it up. Former staffers have said that she likes some coffee and of course she loves all kinds of booze.

What else? I think Liz is “quite chummy” with Angela Kelly but probably not with the rest of her staff. And quelle surprise, Liz prefers to chat about horses and dogs rather than anything else. The rubber band thing is very weird though. Sure, she’s “frugal” about rubber bands, not so frugal about private planes, Andrew’s legal defense or NOT lobbying for tax exemptions for her private properties.

queen windsor zoom

Audiences at Windsor Castle

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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96 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth ‘is so frugal, she saves rubber bands’ & has a giant ball of them”

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  1. Oh_Hey says:

    She owns a hold piano…
    Am I missing something?

    • Ainsley7 says:

      That she doesn’t own a gold piano. The government owns a gold piano.

      • Misskitten says:

        RE: Ainsley7- she doesn’t own that gold piano?? Well gosh, there goes my rebuttal regarding the Queen’s “frugality”! Because after all, it’s not like there aren’t a MILLION other examples of her and her family’s excess.

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      I’m sure the frugal ball of rubberband will feature prominently on her gold piano.

      • Amy Too says:

        I’m not even sure how saving rubber bands means she’s frugal. Do most wealthy people just throw away rubber bands after one use? I don’t think so. They’re still usable. And it’s not like rubber bands are the same as clothing where sure, they’re still usable, but they’re also very recognizable so people notice if you’re rewearing, and it’s some big flashy status symbol to never repeat the same outfit twice. Are there people who turn up their noses and say “oh, how gauche” when they recognize that the rubber band that is holding their bouquet of flowers from the Queen together has already been seen out in public once before? “Oh my. I recognize this rubber band from Easter 1997 when it was used around a rolled up map. I’m shocked she’s dared to repeat it. Is she having financial trouble?”

        That would be like saying someone is frugal because they don’t throw away their pens or chip clips after one use. Those aren’t generally considered one use consumables that most people throw away after one use so it’s soooooooo frugal of her to keep them. If they said she saves little bits of string and used wrapping paper and she reuses tape, *that* would be a better indication that she’s frugal.

      • Mercury says:

        @Amy Too, thanks for the laugh!!!!! Lol

      • This is typical aristo-old money behavior. I know people with literal threadbare carpet and Modigliani’s on the wall. They all wear old tweeds and wellies to show how “real” they are at the racetrack where they own 21 horses. It’s a studied and inherited nonchalance that is disgusting once you can see it.

      • Haya says:

        It is typical old money behaviour. They’re not old money because generations have been spending it bling and flaunting it for all to see. They hold onto every penny they can and make things last.

        Saying that, the Queen is far more extravagant than most old money, I guess because she feels secure in the fact that the tax payer foots the bill for most of her properties and security. Most old money are doing that themselves.

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      So frugal she had to get more money out of the government during the pandemic while children starved.

      • GRUEY says:

        We’ve all met old money. They spend their money on consolidating power, insurance, lawyers, and shit like commissioning new hand painted wall paper based on an old role they found in their castle.

        Rubber band savings ain’t all that.

      • Lorelei says:

        @Gruey, exactly. I doubt she was “frugal” when it came to Andrew’s legal representation 🙄

  2. Emma says:

    Jesus. She is not “frugal.” How many millions of pounds just to renovate one of her crumbling giant palaces?

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      Frugal enough to underpay her staff so they regularly rely on bungs from selling stories to the press. Frugal enough to ask for tax and other exemptions. Mis me with the BS please.

    • Jan90067 says:

      Crumbling due to her diverting monies GIVEN FOR THEIR UPKEEP. A good portion of the hundreds of millions of pounds she’s given each year is FOR the upkeep of the palaces, yet she comes begging for more every year. Why does NO ONE ask for a line-by-line accounting of WHY the money isn’t going for repairs and where it IS going?

    • Mac says:

      Doesn’t every office in the world have a rubber band ball? It’s kind of a long running joke.

    • Ann says:

      She’s not frugal, she’s just cheap.

  3. I mean… I just have no words. Families are struggling to buy their kids toys and put food on the table and this biddy is calling herself frugal while living in an actual palace- excuse me, one of her MANY palaces. The monarchy deserves to burn to the ground.

    • Mac says:

      Saving rubber bands while living in unimaginable opulence does not make one frugal.

      • Jan90067 says:

        Oh, but don’t forget,,, she has her morning cereal in USED TUPPERWARE!!! SO frugal!

      • Elizabeth Regina says:

        @Jan90067 years ago, she was lauded so much for the used Tupperware. How times have changed. Now that the glitter has fallen off their PR turd, people don’t care.

      • GRUEY says:

        Nope! No fine china anywhere in those castles!! Just Tupperware and paper plates.

  4. Ainsley7 says:

    The Queen has definitely always been somewhat of a loner. She had a complicated relationship with both her sister and her mother. Everyone, including her own father, liked her sister better. Her mother was always telling her what to do and criticizing her. The relationships were never easy.

    • AMA1977 says:

      And so what has she done? Set up a dynamic where everyone under the sun knows which child is her favorite and criticized her children’s choices, making a cottage industry out of telling them what to do. Exhibit A: The whole Charles-Camilla-Diana fiasco. She cost Diana her life and two young boys their mother, all because their father’s first choice of a spouse wasn’t a virgin. Not a speck of self-awareness in the whole bunch.

      • TigerMcQueen says:

        Revisionist history there. Camilla wasn’t Charles’s first choice as a wife, as he wasn’t interested in getting married when they had their first fling, while she used the fling to prompt Parker-Bowles to propose (I think Camilla would have been happy to remain Chuck’s mistress forever). Betty’s not perfect by any means and she refuses to wrap her mind around WHY Diana remains so beloved until this day. But Charles’s relationship with Diana is all on him. Phillip gave him a way out, and Charles was incredibly reluctant to marry as he liked his bachelor lifestyle very very much, but he wasn’t forced by mummy when he chose Diana…he did that because he was heir and there were expectations from every corner (press and courtiers included), and he settled, much as Elegant Bill did with Keen Mandela.

  5. STRIPE says:


  6. Lizzie Bathory says:

    I suspect she’s “frugal” in the way that many wealthy people are. They are more careful/cheap about things in their immediate environment, like rubber bands & lights left on in empty rooms. But they rarely have to deal with actual money. Someone can always be dispatched to make sure the lawyers’ invoices are settled & the custom bags paid for.

    • Dilettante says:

      A NYC hairdresser wrote a book about her work. The cheapest tippers were women who were supported by others – their husbands, or inherited money. The most generous were working women, who knew what it was like to have to earn your own living.

      • ChattyCath says:

        I agree. I have the same feelings when I tip. I’m on a very small pension but I know the pain of struggle. It used to be said that being cheap was the reason people got rich. Personally I think we should save rubber bands and turn out lights!

      • Ann says:

        I am not working right now, so I am effectively being supported by my husband. But I did work for years so I always tip well. The only time I don’t tip well is when service is truly bad.

    • lanne says:

      It’s not frugal. She’s cheap. Lots of rich people are cheap, but that’s not a virtue. The people who serve her are the ones who have to deal with her cheapness. I’m sure that get shitty gifts at holidays. She likely believes that service to her is “payment enough.” I’m sure her son and grandson feel the same way. It’s a privilege just to be around them, so there’s no need to be generous with “lesser people” (in their eyes).

      • Lizzie Bathory says:

        Yes, they’re all astonishingly cheap. I wouldn’t be surprised if the only “gift” the staff get is the annual Christmas luncheon.

      • Elizabeth Regina says:

        LOL about the shitty gifts which is so true. I bet they still get a penny, a mince pie and a tangerine in their Christmas stocking.

    • Sofia says:

      Yup. That’s why you can have billionaires who have private jets and multiple mansions that cost a fortune to run but will be skimp on things like lights or tipping. Aka where they actually have to see the money leaving their accounts (despite it being not much to them in the long run) whereas the accountants will deal with seeing the actual cost of running their houses and jet.

    • STRIPE says:

      100% this

    • Dutch says:

      Although she was very young, she did live through the Great Depression. Many folks of that generation tend to be savers/hoarders “just in case” because of that. It might explain the psychology behind saving rubber bands while living in one of several palaces.

      • goofpuff says:

        Except she went through the Great Depression super rich and never actually had to suffer.

      • Lady D says:

        My friend’s mom would eat an entire apple, seeds, core and all. She lost family members to starvation in WWII and almost died herself from it. She said she lived because they decided to make sure the children got the food. She couldn’t stop eating the entire apple, and that was in ’79.
        I interviewed a soldier from WWII who was stuck without food in the loft of a barn with two other soldiers and a Dutch family of five when the area they were in flooded. He said they were saved on day four when a dead pig floated through the barn they were hiding/trapped in.

  7. girl_ninja says:

    She should chat with her greedy and lazy grand son and son about using helicopters and private planes all willy nilly. Let’s be frugal about that sh**t Liz.

    • equality says:

      Didn’t she give the helicopter to William?

      • BothSidesNow says:

        Yes, frugal my ass! She certainly isn’t frugal with her clothing, her hats, dogs or her horses. She spend millions of pounds every month for their care, and they probably get better care than children in Britain and CW countries! Frugal she is not. I don’t think she has ever repeated an entire ensemble, from head to toe, except her shoes.

        Hell, I save rubber bands as they make excellent bands for wrapping paper. I recycle everything, down to the paper my bamboo toilet paper and paper towels are wrapped in. I also save the containers from food delivery as they are perfect containers to store food in.

  8. Robyn says:

    So frugal! That $0.89 she saved on not buying rubber bands helps with the upkeep of all her palaces, jewels, horses, and blood diamonds!

  9. Dtab says:

    If I was hitting nearly 100 years old… I would be boozing it up more..not less.

    • Watcher says:

      IKR?? Just let her have a drink fer chrissakes, she’s an old lady, let her live her life to the fullest!

      • Lorelei says:

        I don’t think she ever gave up drinking completely. It keeps being repeated, and her doctors very well might have “recommended” it, but there’s no way. And who’s going to stop her? 😂
        She’s the Queen ffs and she’s going to to whatever she wants.

    • Jan90067 says:

      Well, to be fair, depending on what medication she’s on, drinking while taking it could cause MAJOR problems/interactions.

      However… I’m sure there’d be a little “give” room in having one small cocktail if she wants it. Hell, my dad is on about 4 different blood pressure medications, yet his doctor agreed with us saying, “He’s 94. If he wants a small drink, once a day, give it to him. Let him eat what he wants to eat.”

      God knows he doesn’t have much of a real appetite now, but if he wants a pastrami or corned beef sandwich, I’m not going to tell him, no, it’s too fatty/bad for you. I say, ENJOY! At this time of life, why the hell not??

  10. Katie says:

    So I had a giant rubber band ball that I made because the job I worked at the time had a million extra lying around.

    From personal experience I can tell you a rubber band ball has nothing to do with frugality because all the rubber bands in it become too stretched out and useless after like a week of joining the rubber band ball collective. They have no purpose anymore other than to be THE BALL.

    On top of that the thing was a huge fire hazard because the dried out bands become friction points for each other, which is why I finally tossed it.

    Also, I guarantee the Queen bounces that ball as that’s the only pleasure you get from having one.

    • TeamMeg says:

      Came here to say this, too. It’s fun keeping a rubber band ball and watching it grow! Who buys rubber bands, anyway? You get them for free all the time. Frugal schmugal.

    • BW says:

      So true!!!

      Also, I don’t think the Queen has ever seen a rubber band. Why would she come in contact with a rubber band? Nothing that’s given to her would have a rubber band around it.

      • Eurydice says:

        That’s what I wonder. I can’t get out of my grocery store without acquiring half a dozen rubber bands, but where does the Queen get hers to “save” them? Maybe it’s from 75 years of parliamentary dispatches.

    • North of Boston says:


      My mom liked to save rubber bands … she liked them for some reason, they made her smile, especially ones in bright colors.

      I just cleaned my guest room and threw out about a dozen she’d left there when she stayed with me a while ago – they were stiff and brittle and useless.

      The queen is not frugal. Keeping balls of old rubber bands around, stuff bought with funds paid by taxpayers or victims of colonialism is NOT some moral achievement.

  11. Ines says:

    The nail polish is Essie’s Ballet Slippers.

  12. GR says:

    The rubberband thing and turning off the lights are probably generational – some of my relatives of about her age, who were young during WWII, had those sorts of habits drilled into their heads and often retained them decades later.

  13. Amy Bee says:

    I have one to add…Her headscarves are Hermes. There’s nothing frugal about that.

  14. curachel20 says:

    She sounds like my 95 year old grandma. Saves and reuses foil and washes out plastic bags and reuses them. Everyone was like “well, she lived through the Great Depression “. Sure, sure…but her family had live in help during the Great Depression…so, that didn’t really affect their lifestyle.

    • TeamMeg says:

      I wash and reuse foil and plastic bags, and I am only 61! All part of being environmentally conscious. Reduce Reuse Recycle. Less waste = honoring the earth.

  15. Zapp Brannigan says:

    “She’s good at accents, particularly Scottish and London’s East End dialects”

    I’m going to need context for when she does these particular accents please.

    • BW says:

      When the help isn’t around. I’m sure she mimics the commoners she comes in contact with to her royal buddies.

    • Jay says:

      I’m assuming Gran’s cockney impression is all part of the fun (“fun”) family festivities for Xmas or other special celebrations. Just one more reason to skip Sandringham if we’re ever invited, eh?

    • swirlmamad says:

      You caught that too, huh???

  16. Jaded says:

    Maybe the corgis chase it around the palaces filled with extravagant treasures.

  17. Demi says:

    If she’s so frugal why can’t she return her collection of looted jewelry back

  18. BeanieBean says:

    Eh, they rot over time; you can’t use them forever so no need to keep them.

  19. Amy Too says:

    She considers her family “possessions:” her greatest possessions are some keys and her family. I’m sure this was meant to be endearing and it was just worded stupidly, but I thought it was such an interesting slip up. She owns all of those family members and gets to dress them up and play with them as she wishes, setting them up in one doll house, then another, putting them into the Barbie Dream Private Plane for a little jaunt here and there, and then making them all come back together to crusty and bow to her. She gets to decide who they marry, and when they must divorce, and how many kids they’ll have, and what those kids will be named, and where and when they’ll be christened and wed (even if she’s generally been benign with this power, she still has it, and everything has to be approved by her.) It really is like she’s just playing dolls with a bunch of living people. But she loves them less, and has less of a connection with any of them than most little girls love and connect with their literal inanimate dolls.

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      Absolutely. Hence the actual and nonexistent rules about hemlines, dark colours, nail polish, tights and tiaras were used to bash Meghan to death.

  20. Emily says:

    “The queen prefers the company of ordinary people to royals and celebrities.”

    Translation: she hates her family.

  21. Over it says:

    Yes , having bespoke purses is the definition of frugal. Massive eye roll.

  22. Murphy says:

    First two lines, oh so frugal!
    Third line, her handbags are BESPOKE. UNIQUE TO HER ONLY.

  23. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    Deep dark confession time:
    Rubber bands creep me out.
    No thank you

  24. Normades says:

    There’s a difference between frugal and cheap. Like their tradition to only give each other inexpensive tacky gifts at Christmas: hold tight to your purse strings while making fun of the working class.

  25. Magick Wanda says:

    “The queen prefers the company of ordinary people to royals and celebrities.”

    I do not believe this for one moment. I don’t believe the Queen knows any “ordinary people” other than the ones who work for her and this article stated she is not friendly with them. Of course, we know she’s buddies with Angela Kelly but not the rest of them.

    This little list does not make the Queen look as down to earth as they think it does.

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      Even the ones that work for her don’t consider themselves ordinary. Her ladies in waiting are titled and her senior advisers are titled. She also gives those medals and sashes out to them lie sweeties.

  26. North of Boston says:

    Her family is one of her most valued “possessions”. She’s mighty careless with some of her possessions then, going by how the Sussexes were treated and still are being treated by the RF.

  27. Athena says:

    Where is she getting the rubber bands? It’s not as if she’s picking up the mail which may come wrapped in a rubber band.

  28. Pinkosaurus says:

    LOL no one who owns racehorses is frugal.

  29. ChattyCath says:

    It’s been reported that staff get a Christmas Pudding for Xmas. It used to be a luxury pudding from Harrods or Fortnums but now it’s from Tesco, a supermarket that’s a byword for cheap and nasty

    • Lurker25 says:

      The staff gift is a pudding from Tesco… Is that really true?
      Because I involuntarily gasped out loud reading that. It’s so… Insulting. Like 🤯🤬😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯

      If I worked for the motherclucking QUEEN, and that was my Xmas gift??! After a year of paltry wages and beck-and-call service??

      I would expect like, tickets to the royal XYZ off season, or a 500 pound bonus check, or a really tasteful China place setting (collect one for each year of service! Pun intended!)… Not some garbage f**king pudding.

      Jesus. That’s so insulting. It’s beyond cheap. It’s mean.

      • ChattyCath says:

        It’s true I think I heard that when the Government had that ‘austerity ‘ kick under Cameron there were no puddings in solidarity!

      • Athena says:

        I read that the staff at Sandringham used to bring out extra meat when Phillip was barbecuing, and they would have the extra when they clean up. One day Phillip figured out what they were doing and tehee out the extra cooked meat. This is how petty and mean these people are. Would not spare extra food for the people waiting on them hand and foot.

    • Southern Fried says:

      In college one of my jobs was with a crappy company who cheaped out (cheated) staff. They’d have a training session including a holiday party handing out hard candy and what amounted to the cheapest of all possible type gifts. A tiny notepad and tiny pencil, that type of thing. Afterwards as I drove away I’d throw the gifts out the car window onto the front entryway lawn. Yes it made me feel a bit better, I can do petty lol.

  30. DeluxeDuckling says:

    Yeah…a legal team for andy has got to be a lotta rubber bands

  31. yinyang says:

    She’s frugal, but she ain’t stupid, she still wants those big welfare checks to add to that billion dollar royal nest egg. Her life has been a fine balance between appearing frugal in public and being frivolous in private.

  32. SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

    Suuuuuure. If the rubber bands are in a ball, they’re not being re-used. Also, at best, she’s ordering some underpaid minion to add the rubber bands to the ball. I imagine there’s somebody employed on less than minimum wage to wear a uniform with gold braid and carry the rubber band ball around on a velvet cushion.

  33. Sue Denim says:

    she also squirrels money away in tax havens to avoid paying her full share…

  34. GiveMePizza says:

    Didn’t Pee Wee Herman also have a giant rubber band ball?!? This woman is not frugal, she’s just… ridiculous.

  35. RoyalBlue says:

    Living the frugal life. Helicopter, trains and planes. Summer home and winter home. Personal dresser, seamstress, and dozens of staff on hand. Food prepared, laundry done, cleaning taken care of…by other people. Horses and dogs fed and poop disposed…by other people. Days of leisure with at least 5 months of vacation a year, not worrying about how your bills will be paid or where the next meal is coming from. Money squirreled away offshore, passed on tax free. Opulent jewels and gowns for every occasion and sipping that nightly liquor. Oh yes. The frugal life.

  36. Tursitops says:

    Calling your family a “possession” is revealing.

  37. Jumpingthesnark says:

    Where does she keep the ball of rubber bands? On her gold piano!!!!

  38. Emerald Crystal says:

    Well, since being frugal is in her character, why doesn’t she just sell a few of those ostentatious crown jewels? Then, she could have enough money to feed and clothe many children in her country and other impoverished places as well.