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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Trying Queen Elizabeth II’s disciplined routine for a day

Annika Gho
Living a day like Queen Elizabeth.

As a sophomore in high school, I usually wake up, go to school, talk to my friends between classes, silently pray I didn’t fail my math quiz, do my homework after school and go to bed. Safe to say, my life won’t motivate paparazzi to stalk me anytime soon. 

To add a little spice to my monotonous days in high school, I recently decided to follow a famous person’s routine for a day: Queen Elizabeth II.  She was the longest serving monarch of the United Kingdom, reigning from 1952 until 2022. Her royal position demanded her to be clear-headed, resilient and dedicated — characteristics that I definitely need to adopt. 

The queen began her day at 7:30 a.m. by lying in bed for a few minutes, listening to the Today Program on BBC 4. 

However, when I lay on my bed on a weekend day and tried to stay awake, minutes turned into an hour as I quickly dozed off again. At 8:30 a.m., an hour behind schedule, I searched for a YouTube clip of the “Today” Show. I could barely keep my eyes open as I listened to the weather report and international news — topics for old people that I don’t really care about. 

The next part was by far the hardest part: The queen bathed in the morning. When I tried it, I was barely awake, and having to submerge myself in water was too much of a shock for the morning. The queen preferred a very specific bath routine, with the water exactly seven inches deep and at an exact temperature that is completely unknown. Unfortunately, I don’t have a bathtub at home, so I took a jarringly cold shower and used a foot spa massager. The sensation felt weird at first, but after a few minutes, I felt just like the queen relaxing in her bathtub.  

During the bath, the queen’s assistant prepared her outfit for the day and a pot of Earl Grey tea with cold milk and no sugar. Lacking the money for a personal assistant I asked my parents to prepare my morning tea. Honestly, I was expecting the tea to be quite bitter without sugar, but the taste turned out quite pleasant — similar to milk tea, as they both have black tea bases. 

The queen’s breakfast arrived at 8:30 a.m. and always consisted of Special K cereal and hard-boiled eggs. 

I had no cereal, but I did have my personal assistants (also known as my parents) prepare two hard-boiled eggs. I did not particularly enjoy the gummy texture and bland taste, but I was committed to the queen’s routine, so I quickly swallowed the eggs before my taste buds could register them. 

While the queen began answering letters and meeting visiting diplomats at 9:30 a.m., my status as a student meant I had to study for my upcoming tests and practice piano. Instead of meeting with diplomats, I met my piano teacher for a lesson.

At 1:30 p.m., the queen would come out of her office to eat lunch and then take a walk in her garden. Once I finished my meal, I walked one lap around my backyard, which had a few flowers worthy of the queen’s admiration. After my stroll, it was time for the queen’s 30-minute reading session, in which I caught up on my literature circle book for English class. 

Afterwards, the queen participated in royal engagements, like attending charity events or meeting guests. During this time, I went to volunteer at the senior center and studied some more for my history test. At 5 p.m., it was actual tea time. The queen enjoyed salmon sandwiches as a late afternoon snack, so I made my own version: cream cheese on crackers with smoked salmon on top. 

The queen went back to work after tea time and didn’t have dinner until 8 p.m., which was supposed to be served on a silver tray. I managed to have my dinner served on a tray, albeit it was a wooden one. I felt powerful … and old. 

Finally, before bed, I planned my normal routine for the next day and turned the lights off at 11 p.m., as the queen did each night. 

Reflecting back on the day, I learned that the queen, who died at 96 in 2022, had a healthy balance between work and play in her routine. Her secret to maintaining this lifestyle was to fill up the day with enough things to do to avoid boredom and stay engaged. 

With the queen as a role model, perhaps I could try new things such as a daily afternoon stroll or do daily vocabulary study in order to fill up my schedule and maximize my productivity. Knowing that the queen followed this orderly routine to fulfill her responsibilities until her final years, I am inspired to be just as disciplined.

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