The Queen’s morning routine
I am a big believer that, when you’re a leader, a lot of your ability to lead well and lead productively is shaped by your morning routine.
And, not shockingly, our very regimented Queen has a very regimented morning routine – and, like most parts of her life, it really hasn’t changed much in the last 68 years.
Apparently Her Majesty isn’t a morning person, but you wouldn’t know it by her regimen:
· 7:30 a.m.: The Queen is woken up by staffers in her bedroom delivering Earl Grey tea with milk, no sugar. It is served on a silver tray with a linen napkin bearing her cypher. As she wakes up and sips her tea, her radio is tuned to BBC Radio 4, where she listens to the day’s political news.
· Next, it’s time for her morning bath, which is set to the exact right temperature per the Queen’s specifications (a thermometer is used to check) and the tub must contain no more than seven inches of water. The Queen takes this bath wherever she is – when she’s on the Royal Train, the conductor specifically avoids bumpy tracks around 7:30 a.m. so as not to splash around the bathwater.
· As she is bathing, one of Her Majesty’s dressers is laying out her first outfit of the day. (In normal times, the Queen could change up to five times a day.) Also in normalcy, she’d have her hairdresser fix her hair, but during COVID, she’s doing it herself – and she’s quite good at it.
· 8:30 a.m.: It’s time for breakfast – more Earl Grey tea, maybe some biscuits, and Special K, her favorite cereal. She basically eats this same meal every single day for breakfast. If she wants a changeup, she’ll have some scrambled eggs – she prefers brown eggs, by the way – with smoked salmon.
· 9 a.m.: My favorite part of her morning routine: Every single weekday, she is serenaded by a lone bagpiper for 15 minutes exactly.
· 9:30 a.m.: Her Majesty is at her desk, beginning what usually becomes about two hours’ worth of paperwork. She gets briefings on the day’s news and a stack of newspapers to comb through.
· Finally, after she finishes her paperwork, she presses a button for her private secretary and asks him, dutifully, “Would you like to come up?” The day truly begins here.
A thought I had – now that the Queen and Philip have left Balmoral for Sandringham, I wonder if she’ll ever come back to Buckingham Palace. I certainly hope so…