Darts, Coronation Street and rubber gloves: Why the Queen's just like us

It has been revealed that the Queen is a fan of darts (a traditional British pub game that is now becoming more popular around the rest of the world), Coronation Street and Harry Potter.

Not since the Battle of Hastings in 1066 when King Harold was killed by those pesky Normans has a British monarch had such an eye for arrows.

On 21st December, Queen Elizabeth II will overtake Queen Victoria as the oldest-reigning British monarch in history, though she will still have to be on the Throne in 2016 to overtake Victoria as the longest-serving British monarch....

Liz 'The Real Power' Windsor: How the Queen would look as a professional darts player

Why the Queen is a commonER

Senior Feature Writer
Published: Today

WOULD one believe it – the Queen has been revealed as a big fan of DARTS.

It seems that Liz “The Real Power” Windsor knows her barrel from her bullseye and regularly follows the televised championships.

So says her granddaughter Zara Phillips, who revealed the little-known fact to darts champ Phil Taylor at Sunday night’s BBC Sports Personality Of The Year awards.

Not since King Harold came a cropper at Hastings in 1066 has a British monarch been said to have had an eye for the arrows

Common touch ... The Queen is a fan of Coronation Street and Harry Potter

But it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to find Her Majesty has the common touch. For beneath the green wellies, waxed jacket and tiara, our Liz is really one of us.

She loves bling, watches soaps and quizzes on the box, enjoys a flutter, sends texts, listens to her iPod and supports Arsenal.

Despite her status, the Queen has always regarded herself as down to earth, and once said of Princess Michael of Kent — who was born into Austrian nobility: “She is far too grand for the likes of us.”

Beyond the official, gilded splendour of her royal palaces, the Queen’s private quarters are noted for their simple furnishings and threadbare carpets.

And while she scrubs up nicely for official functions, she prefers casual, practical clothes when she is relaxing — and gets her courtiers to recycle outfits whenever possible.

She’s even got a hoodie top!

Like most of us, she has a collection of mismatching luggage rather than an expensive Louis Vuitton set.

Breakfast at the Queen’s gaff is not all that posh, either. Her cereals are served from Tupperware containers rather than antique silver platters, although the Queen prefers toast and marmalade, with Terry Wogan’s Radio 2 show playing in the background.

Her Maj likes a bit of supermarket grub too from time to time. She told a guest at a garden party in July that Marks & Spencer “make very good food”.

Guests at private gatherings such as barbecues at Sandringham or Balmoral have been amazed to see the Queen put on rubber gloves to help with the washing up and to urge staff to recycle uneaten food as “leftovers” meals.

Like the rest of us, the Queen likes a tipple. If she’s on “duty” she will stick to Malvern spring water, getting through up to three bottles a day, but if she is relaxing she might have a Dubonnet and gin at lunchtime and perhaps a Martini in the evening.

Aside from the darts — which Zara reckons the Queen used to watch regularly with the Queen Mother — Her Majesty’s great sporting passion is racing and she’s been known to have a flutter or two. Not that she queues at the bookies herself, of course. At horsey events such as Ascot or Badminton a discreet equerry will be dispatched to the bookie’s tent and will return with the betting slip.

Rubber gloves ... our Liz stuns her
guests by washing up

Even so, the Queen is not afraid to show her delight at backing a winner, throwing her arms in the air and yelling like any other excited punter.

Besides the horses, Her Majesty is an Arsenal fan — just like her mother before her — which might give rise to some cheerful banter with grandson Prince William, who’s an Aston Villa fan.

On TV, our Liz loves to catch up with events in Coronation Street. When actor Johnny Briggs went to the Palace to collect his MBE in March the Queen asked him why his character Mike Baldwin had left the show and revealed she is a fan.

She also likes TV detectives such as Morse and Poirot, plus The Bill and The Vicar Of Dibley.

She’s also keen on Countdown and was disappointed when the Channel 4 quiz’s slot was changed and clashed with the time she walks her corgis in the Palace grounds. At least she can record it to watch at her leisure, having gone digital with a satellite dish installed at Buckingham Palace — although, like the rest of us, she could never get the hang of programming the video, so she’ll probably leave Philip to sort out the Sky+.

Our modern monarch is down with the kids in other areas of technology too.

She bought her first mobile phone four years ago and regularly sends texts, particularly to William and Harry.

She texted Harry to pass on her congratulations when the England rugby union team won the World Cup in 2003.

She also has a private email account, which she uses to keep in touch with her grandchildren.

Prince Harry ... the Queen often
sends a text

Its existence was revealed when she offered her email address to Vanity Fair social editor Elizabeth Saltzman and asked her to “keep in touch”.

Her Majesty got her first iPod, a six-gigabyte Mini, in 2005 and declared she was “very impressed”.

In quieter moments she loves to curl up with a horsey magazine, the Racing Post or a detective novel. The works of PD James and Dick Francis are favourites, and she is very knowledgeable about Harry Potter.

But no house, not even a royal one, would be the same without a bit of a “domestic” and staff have revealed that Liz and Phil have the occasional blazing rows — although they can be affectionate too.

The Queen, who is a very good mimic, does a hilarious impression of her husband, whose pet name for her is “Sausage”.

She also does a mean impression of being just like the rest of us.

And she knows that “finishing on a double” doesn’t mean she’s about to be replaced by Helen Mirren.

*gasp* A leader who's a PERSON!?

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