It’s always interesting when the best frugal tips come from people who have all of the wealth in the world. For example, Queen Elizbeth II enjoys living frugally. Husband Prince Philip isn’t naturally as frugal, according to the book “The Royals”, authored by Kitty Kelley.
However, that in and of itself can teach us something about frugal living. After all, many of us are in relationships with other people. Therefore, we have to get our spending habits on the same page if we want to avoid strife. This royal couple has been married for over seventy years, which is longer than any other British sovereign couple, so they are clearly doing something right.
A Trip for Prince Philip
Kelley writes about how much Prince Philip prefers the finger things in life when traveling. Specifically, she speaks of his visits to actress Merle Oberon’s home. In fact, she says he was “beguiled by opulence” in relation to her. Furthermore “he enjoyed being cosseted in superlative comfort.”
Merle would provide her guests with silk sheets and cashmere blankets. They would sleep on “gold leaf beds swagged with silk tassels.” She employed a top-level French chef to feed her guests. Of course, he would perfectly pair the food with expensive wine. The home’s towel racks and marble floors were both heated.
In contrast, Kelley says that Queen Elizabeth II’s “palaces were cold and drafty and required space heaters in every corner.” She was partial to practical fabrics, such as tweeds, rather than silks and cashmere. Prince Philip must have been content enough with their home, and yet terrifically enjoyed the luxury of trips to more luxurious homes.
The Simple Life at Wood Farm
Prince Philip, now in his late 90’s, has retired. He could do anything that he wants. However, over all of these years, he must have come to appreciate Queen Elizbeth’s frugal tips and ways. He has moved to Wood Farm to live a simple life. In fact, he lives in a farm manager’s cottage there. He reads, paints, and writes letters. The couple has always dreamed of living their last days simply, like normal people. He seems to be living out that dream.
Frugal Doesn’t Have to Mean Miserly
One of the most important frugal tips for anyone is to realize that you can still be generous even if you’re thrifty. Kelley reveals a wide range of differences among the royal family members when it comes to spending. In particular, the author looks at how the royals treat those who provide their services.
She quotes a valet who says that Prince Charles is tight-fisted. In fact, “he moans about the price of everything.” Furthermore, he counts the chickens in the freezer and eats the leftovers until everything is gone. He squeezes the last drop of toothpaste from the tube then recycles the tube. “He can’t abide waste.” So, on one hand, he’s being eco-conscious. On the other hand, there’s a money-conscious mindset underlying this.
The queen is also frugal but she comes across as less miserly. She gives gifts to those who serve her, but she always gives them something practical and useful. Often, she will ask what they most need. Kelley writes that she, “seemed hardworking to her subjects, who appreciated her frugality.” She would give her secondhand clothes to members of her family. She saw this as practical.
Frugal Tips from Queen Elizabeth II
Based on the above, we can surmise that Queen Elizabeth II might offer the following frugal tips:
- Think practical, rather than luxurious, when it comes to outfitting yourself as well as your home.
- Use space heaters and sweaters instead of wasting energy turning up the heat in your home.
- Don’t waste just because you can afford to do so.
- Give generously to others but be practical in what you give.
- It’s the simple things that matter in life and in love.
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