The royal family's bizarre trait you probably never noticed until the pandemic

The royal family do something rather strange—and we couldn't help but notice during lockdown

royal family
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The royal family have a slightly bizarre trait that has been noted since the pandemic struck last year, when The Firm had to resort to using technology to conduct their vital engagements. 

  • Royal fans may have noticed a bizarre royal family trait since the start of the pandemic.
  • Her Majesty the Queen and her close team of working royals joined the world in working remotely when the health crisis struck—but there's something pretty outdated about their work-from-home gear.
  • In other royal news, the heartbreaking reason Princess Diana never remarried has been revealed. 

While conducting royal engagements remotely left the Queen, and the likes of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Charles, relying on video calls and wifi to continue with their official duties, it’s been noted that the royal family’s home telephones are a little more old-school than you might expect. 

Members of the royal family have been documented talking on plenty of important phone calls over the past year, using corded landline handsets that wouldn’t have looked out of place over two decades ago. 

Earlier this year, Kate Middleton was seen speaking to the subjects of her Hold Still photography project, using a black landline phone with a coiled cord at Kensington Palace

Meanwhile, Her Majesty the Queen has been taking her weekly meetings with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on an old, cream-coloured rotary dial telephone, since leaving Buckingham Palace for Windsor Castle

The Duchess of Cornwall was also photographed using a black, corded home phone to thank NHS Volunteer Responders for their hard work last year.

It turns out that the royal family’s choice to use old-fashioned phones, instead of opting for more convenient hands-free options, stems from the Queen’s frugal and thrifty attitude.

Royal expert Phil Dampier has claimed that the monarch has kept her old phone on the go for years, embracing an attitude of "if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it".

Dickie Arbiter, the Queen’s former press spokesman, also revealed that it’s simply style choice, ensuring the technology ties in with the classic decor of royal residences. 

The Queen

(Image credit: Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

"It fits the ambiance if you’re living in a medieval castle; why put something modern in? The white phone fits," he told FEMAIL.

"It’s a rather old fashioned Bakelite telephone, and as far as she’s concerned, it works, why change it?

"You’d be very surprised at how many people actually have corded telephones—how many people have old fashioned homes—because they want old fashioned phones, because it looks good, it looks better than anything modern. I think at the end of the day it’s about choice."

It has also been suggested that Kate and William opt for older phones as a way to appear relatable to their royal fans, as well as to keep their private conversations within palace walls.

The royal pair have both been seen using their modern smart phones in the past, so it's likely an intentional choice to use an older phone for parts of their work.

royal family phones Prince William Prince Harry Prince Charles

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

"Prince William and Kate might use corded phones in photos to appear more in tune with the general public, particularly older people who still use them," Phil said.  

"And there might also be a security element if landlines are considered safer and not web enabled."

Caitlin Elliott
Caitlin Elliott

Caitlin is Junior News Editor for woman&home, covering all things royal, celeb, fashion, beauty and lifestyle. 


Having set her sights on becoming a magazine journalist when she was a child, Caitlin took on work experience stints at local papers and titles such as Cosmopolitan, Now, Reveal and Take a Break while studying for her Multimedia Journalism degree and has interviews with celebs, reality stars and the Archbishop of Canterbury under her belt (of course, she couldn't resist asking him about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry). 


After leaving uni, she dabbled in fashion PR as a Press Assistant for Arcadia's Topshop before becoming a part of the Now team at Future for her first real job in the world of online journalism, joining the ranks as a Digital Writer in 2019. 


Caitlin went on to add the likes of Woman, GoodtoKnow, WhatToWatch and woman&home to her writing repertoire before moving on to her current role. 


When she's not working you'll find Caitlin sipping bubbles at brunch with her besties, thinking about her next iced coffee, trying to close the rings on her Apple Watch, scrubbing up on her royal family knowledge or scrolling through the Zara app, trying to resist tapping 'check out' again.