If anyone knows the importance of a good night’s sleep, it’s someone who’s been in service for 70 years – Her Majesty The Queen. And to make sure she gets the best night’s sleep possible, she would follow a strict bedtime regimen to help her relax and unwind.
For many of us, falling asleep can be a difficult task. However, the Queen, who must always be well rested ahead of her days filled with public engagements, royal meetings and correspondence, has stuck to a tried and tested formula, it has been reported.
So, in the hope of setting her own sleep schedule, a journalist from this media group – Julia Banim, from The mirrordecided to try the Queen’s nighttime routine herself to see if the royal treatment worked – and if so, how well it worked.
She said: “Like many people, I have trouble falling asleep at night, with too much scrolling at 1am which inevitably leaves me gray-faced and yawning the moment I open my box. reception.”
The queen’s settling routine is believed to begin with a nighttime walk, which is generally considered a solid way to unwind. According to a 2017 Times article, a Palace guard once mistook her for an intruder on one of his late-night walks, leading him to exclaim, “Damn, Your Majesty, I I almost shot you!”
“These risks aside,” Banim wrote, “although unfortunately I don’t have any sprawling ground to speak of, I needed to pinch at Morrisons, which is surely a good chunk of Balmoral, although less quaint.After she returned from my queen walk, I showered and put on the kind of nightgown Her Majesty might well approve of.
While we can’t know exactly what outfit the queen wears to bed, Michael Fagan, who burst into the monarch’s bedroom in 1982, has offered some insight. During a 2020 interview with The Independent, Fagan recalled, “Her babydoll was one of those Liberty prints and it fell to her knees.”
Says Banim: “I can’t afford Liberty fabric, but I managed to get a knee-length floral nightgown online, a far cry from my usual mismatched Christmas pajamas. But the light, feminine beauty of the babydoll made me feel oddly quite calm, in a nostalgic way that made me want to brush my hair properly and apply eye cream. Then, feeling oddly elegant – and dare I say regal – I settled in for the night.
As it ends, Her Majesty is said to be taking some time to catch up on her correspondence. According to a Mail Online article published in 2018, the Queen often spends part of her evening “working on her boxes” – the containers holding correspondence from various government departments in the UK and other Commonwealth countries.
“Unfortunately, I’m still waiting for a call from the prime minister asking what I think of state affairs,” Banim continued, “but I have a personal alternative – Whatsapp. Being an introvert, correspondence is something for which I’m pretty bad. As although I love my friends, I sometimes find replying to group chats a bit overwhelming after a full day at work and I’m guilty of putting off replies on all my messages. And I felt a lot better for it.
Then, like the Queen, Banim said she went into full relaxation mode around 9 p.m., settling in front of the TV with a hot water bottle in her lap. She wrote: “According to a 1992 Vanity Fair article, her assistants always make sure a hot water bottle is packed for her travels, which is then slipped into her bed ready for her.
“I’m fond of a hot water bottle myself. However, as a stressed head who rarely takes the time to take care of myself, I often forget about these little luxuries,” added Banim. “But even on a balmy May night, the warmth is very soothing and takes me straight to a pleasant city.”
As for the choice of TV programme, the Queen is said to be a fan of shows such as Dad’s Army, Doctor Who, Last of the Summer Wine and Downton Abbey.
“I’ve settled into Downton myself, with the lull of the title track and dreamy interiors plunging me into the TV equivalent of a posh, soapy bath. A great suggestion, ma’am.” According to a 2015 article in The Telegraph, the Queen likes to point out “things she has done wrong” – in part because she knows Highclere Castle, the majestic Hampshire heap used as the setting for Downton.
The Queen’s late cousin, Margaret Rhodes, previously claimed the monarch sipped a glass of champagne every night before bed. It’s unclear what his brand of choice is, however, according to Town and Country magazine, Bollinger, Krug, Lanson and Pol Roger have all won royal warrants over the years.
Says Banim: “I’m not someone who drinks sparkling wine unless I’m at a party, but this little indulgence intrigued me. I’m certainly not advocating drinking to help you sleep at night, I soon felt my troubles melt away and found myself preferring it to my usual choice of drink at home, rosé. And I poured a cheeky second drink. “
At 11 p.m., the Queen would be all tucked into bed, ensuring she has a solid eight-and-a-half hours before waking up at 7.30 a.m. Just before dozing off, she is said to enjoy reading a bit, with the 96-year-old being particularly fond of Dick Francis, author of a number of horse racing-centric mysteries.
“I’m not entirely sure what she would think of the novel on my bedside table – Bella Mackie’s dark comedy How to Kill Your Family,” Banim wrote. “However, given that she is said to love detective fiction, I’m sure she doesn’t mind a gory tale once in a while. I also made sure to read a few magazine articles on the upcoming jubilee, reading material that I’m sure she would think very well.”
Despite her love of reading, Banim said she finds herself scrolling through Twitter too often in the last 10 minutes of her waking day. But “devoting a small portion of my time to reading felt much better,” she added, “and it’s definitely going to be something I’ll bring back with me into my regular bedtime regimen.”
Banim reported that the next day she felt much more rested, with a positive “I rarely have it before 9am” state of mind. She said: “With that in mind, I will definitely consider some of her bedtime rituals.”
Of her queen’s routine, Banim concluded: “Like many people, I am often too busy to think of a nighttime regimen per se, and so I will often feel unnecessarily stressed until I close my eyes. I’ve learned, of course, that it’s counterproductive. Making time for the comfort of little creatures has helped put me in the right mindset for quality sleep, and I’ve even had more vivid and pleasant dreams than usual. swap bubbles of champagne for bubbles of lemonade until my lottery numbers come in…”
For more stories of where you live, visit In your region.