Living large: The crazy things Queen Elizabeth II owns
As the head of the royal family, you can expect Queen Elizabeth II to own some outlandish things. As the world’s oldest reigning monarch, she has a collection of practical & impractical paraphernalia that goes as far back as King Henry VIII. Taking a deep dive into the collection is a fun & interesting trip into Queen Elizabeth & the royal family’s history.
Guinness World Records
Along with the oldest reigning monarch record, Queen Elizabeth owns three other records in the Guinness Book of World Records. Her other records include the longest-reigning monarch, the world’s wealthiest queen, and her likeness on the money of more sovereign countries than any other person.
A Gold record
While she doesn’t sing on the record, Queen Elizabeth does own a Gold record. The royal family threw the Queen a concert for her fifty years on the throne. The recording of the concert sold 100,000 copies in the first week, and Queen Elizabeth was sent a Gold record for her achievement, making her the only royal to receive one.
All the swamps along the River Thames
Queen Elizabeth is a lover of animals, and the royal family owns a large amount of the UK’s land. Owning all the swamps along the River Thames combines these two facts and surprisingly, not her weirdest land ownership.
Now, this does have a few catches. Queen Elizabeth only owns the public land, and she only exercises her ownership in certain stretches. She also co-owns the native birds with the Worshipful Company of Vintners & the Worshipful Company of Dyers. The agreement dates back to the 15th century.
The British seabeds
Staying with weird land ownership, Queen Elizabeth owns all the seabed from the mean low water mark out to 12 nautical miles, or 13.8 miles or 22.2 kilometers. Because she owns all the seabeds, the Queen also owns the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, the world’s largest when it opened in 2010.
In 1964 the Continental Shelf Act extended Queen Elizabeth’s own of the seabeds to cover the UK’s continental shelf, up to 200 nautical miles in some places. The royal family owns the subsoil & minerals in the UK’s marine shelf, while the government claims the coal, oil, and gas deposits.
All the dolphins in the UK
Not strange considering she owns a cow in Canada & two tortoises, but Queen Elizabeth owns all the dolphins in the UK. She is an animal lover, but it wasn’t her decision to own them.
A statue dating back to 1324 during the reign of King Edwards II states, “The king shall have wreck of the sea throughout the realm, whales, and sturgeons taken in the sea or elsewhere within the realm, except in certain places privileged by the king.” The statue enacts the law that says the royal family has ownership over not just whales & sturgeons but dolphins & porpoises captured within three miles of the UK.
The Royal Collection
As the head of the monarchy, Queen Elizabeth owns the Royal Collection, an archive from the royal family’s history. In the collection are her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria’s sketchbook & wedding dress, and King Henry VII’s suit of armor.
The Royal Collection also includes 150,000 pieces of art. Some are available for public museums – others hang in the royal palaces & estates.
A colony of bats
Queen Elizabeth’s pets extend past her beloved corgis to the colony of bats that live in the rafters of Balmoral Castle. The 164-year-old castle is the summer home for Queen Elizabeth, and one of her favorite activities is to help the staff catch the bats with a butterfly net.
According to royal chronicler Brian Hoey, it’s common for Queen Elizabeth to ask for her butterfly net to catch some bats in the late afternoon. “She would catch them in the net, hand them to me and tell me to let them go outside. She was always very strict about them not being harmed,” Hoey detailed.
Westminster Abbey plays a vital role in the royals’ history. It’s been the site for every coordination since 1066, multiple royal weddings, and hundreds of royal funerals. The 930-year-old church is in the ownership of Queen Elizabeth & the royal family and is one of fifteen Royal Peculiars, a church not controlled by a diocese. Many of the other Royal Peculiars are in properties owned by the royal family.
A tiara covered in 1333 diamonds
Rounding out this list is the Diamond Diadem tiara. The tiara is one of her most famous pieces as Queen Elizabeth wears it to every opening of Parliament. It’s set with 1333 diamonds and includes a four-carat yellow diamond in the center. The Diamond Diadem tiara was also handed down to her – it was originally crafted for George IV 1821 coordination.