Queen Elizabeth’s holiday habit that made it ‘hard to find her’ by the end of her Scottish break

Queen Elizabeth's holiday habit was reportedly something that continued into the autumn at Balmoral and she apparently 'loved' it

Queen Elizabeth's holiday habit revealed. Seen here is Queen Elizabeth at the Balmoral Estate Cricket Pavilion
(Image credit: Photo by Andrew Milligan-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth’s holiday habit has been revealed by a former royal butler and according to him it made it “hard to find her” by the end of her Scottish break.

This year King Charles and Queen Camilla have chosen to continue the late Queen Elizabeth’s tradition of spending the summer in Scotland and have already kicked off their summer break at the Castle of Mey. Queen Elizabeth was known for spending August-October at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire during her reign and Scotland held a very special place in her heart. So much so that Princess Eugenie once declared on a 2016 ITV documentary, Our Queen at Ninety, that the highlands were where her grandmother was “most happy”. However, Queen Elizabeth’s holiday habit whilst she was in the highlands might not be everyone else’s idea of fun. 

Queen Elizabeth II sitting in the window at Balmoral Castle

(Image credit: Photo by Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Speaking about Queen Elizabeth’s holiday habit on behalf of Slingo, former royal butler Paul Burrell alleged that she slept with the windows open to make the most of the highland air.

“She loved the fact that her bedroom windows were open every night and she would get the fresh air from the highlands every night,” he claimed, before adding, “From August until early October, she never closed her bedroom windows.”

Queen Elizabeth traditionally spent this period in Scotland enjoying an extended summer break before she returned to England in October and resumed her busy schedule of engagements. And whilst sleeping with the window open might be one of the best tips for how to sleep in the heat, it turns out that her choice wasn’t always that comfortable towards the end of her Scottish holiday.

Queen Elizabeth II during an inspection of the Balaklava Company, 5 Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland

(Image credit: Photo by Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Paul likened Queen Elizabeth to the titular Princess in the Princess and the Pea fairytale as he explained that “there were that many sheets and blankets and covers and eiderdowns”. This apparently made it “hard to find her” but it was necessary because “sometimes that bedroom was very, very cold” in October.

However, Paul’s remarks seem to suggest that regardless of the temperature and the apparently huge amount of blankets, having the highland air circulating around her room was important to her. Whether King Charles and Queen Camilla will keep Queen Elizabeth’s holiday habit going even in autumn remains to be seen.

Though apparently keeping the windows open at night wasn’t the only small pleasure the late monarch enjoyed at Balmoral. Paul also claimed that she enjoyed picking wild strawberries and eating the literal fruits of her labour at teatime.

Queen Elizabeth II walking cross country

(Image credit: Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

“Her summer holidays we’d go to Scotland, walk through the heather with her dogs, with her sister Margaret and pick wild strawberries and bring them back to the castle, bowls of wild strawberries from the hillside and ask the chef to make jam for tea,” he declared. “When they sat at the tea table, they would eat their own jam, the strawberries that they picked and for the Queen, that was who she was.”

This humble and rewarding tradition is perhaps something that King Charles, who’s known for his love of the natural environment and seasonal, local ingredients, could potentially continue. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!