Queen Elizabeth II is due to turn 86 on the 21st April 2012, her diamond jubilee year. After 60 years on the throne, what has the Queen seen and experienced? Queen Elizabeth has lived through World War II, had 12 Prime Ministers, seen the country change and develop from more traditional values to a new technological era, and is now experiencing the aftermath of a recession.
The economy is a hot topic at the moment as we are still struggling to fend off a double-dip recession, consumer confidence is still low, organisations are feeling the cuts by the government, and the cost of living is still higher than expected.
Saving money is definitely something that we rarely associate with the Queen, as the royal family is well known for its extravagance, jewellery, and private jets. However, Queen Elizabeth is a more progressive monarch, and has played her part in ensuring that she contributes to society, one example being that she was the first monarch to volunteer to pay income tax at the same rate as everyone else.
Although the Queen doesn’t have to worry about saving a few pennies here and there, there are things that we can learn from the way she goes about her business.
We all know that Queen Elizabeth banks with private investments bank Coutts & Co., could we improve our financial situation by banking alongside the Queen? Coutts is renowned for its royal connections and remains at the very top of the private banking industry, but could the exceptional service also be of use to the average Brit? The chances are slim as customers are required to hold a minimum balance of £250,000 and are paying £150 per year for the privilege of holding a Coutts chequebook.
Whilst we may not be able to bank or invest at Coutts, we can take a leaf out of the Queen’s book by taking care of our finances. By learning about investments and understanding the market, you could make some serious money. Whereas if you plod along every month by simply moving a bit of cash into a second current account, you could be losing a small fortune in interest.
The Queen has a selection of cars at her disposal, including a couple of Rolls Royces, Jaguars, and Bentleys. However, despite being able to have one of the flashiest driveways in the country, Queen Elizabeth seems to prefer her Land Rover Defender. This choice of vehicle was made famous in the film “The Queen” where she was portrayed by Helen Mirren.
So, despite having an estimated personal wealth of more than £350 million, perhaps Liz really does enjoy the simple things in life. When getting around the Balmoral estate Queen Elizabeth seems more than happy to drive around in her Defender, which can currently be bought new from £21,000 – hardly a bank-busting sum of money for a brand new 4×4.
In 2003 the whole country found out that cereal was laid out on the royal breakfast table in Tupperware. Shocking! These revelations came about after a reporter from the Daily Mirror managed to serve as a Footman in Buckingham Palace for two months. The photographs he took were splashed across the newspaper. Whilst millions of people around the UK were thrilled to find out that the Queen uses the same plastic containers as everyone else, some were more interested in her attitude towards money and frugality.
Firstly, why wouldn’t Queen Elizabeth store her cornflakes and porridge oats in Tupperware? After all, it is one of the best ways to keep these items fresh for longer, as the cardboard box does not have a seal. Secondly, just because she is dining at the breakfast table in Buckingham Palace does not mean that she has to store food items in the best china.
If there is one thing we can learn from Queen Elizabeth, it is to invest in good quality products but care for them and nurture them so that they last. Have you ever heard the phrase, “buy cheap, buy twice”?, this attitude is exactly what the monarch is all about.
Forget the niceties and fancies of the world, it is safe to say that our Queen watches her pennies, so that the millions of pounds look after themselves, and we would all do well to follow suit.
|Written by :|
|Jemma is a news & research reporter for compareandsave.com.
Having worked as a journalist on a number of personal finance websites; she now spends time researching and commenting on UK personal finance stories and investigating new ways to help our readers save money.
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