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The Queen's rule for cleaning staff at royal palaces will surprise you

How do staff keep Her Majesty's homes sparkling clean?

the queen home
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
November 3, 2021
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The Queen's cleaning staff at all of her royal homes have a mammoth job, but it turns out that keeping the residences spotless is actually more challenging than you might expect thanks to one surprising rule – they can't use vacuum cleaners.

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With 775 rooms inside Buckingham Palace, around 1,000 rooms and 484,000 square feet of space at Windsor Castle and a reported  52 royal and guest bedrooms at Balmoral Castle, there is plenty of space the cleaners need to cover. So why don't they use hoovers? Instead of making excessive noise with the classic cleaning product, the documentary Royal Servants revealed that the staff sweep the floors and the carpets. 

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According to the 2011 documentary, "Cleaners sweep carpets, lest royal ears are offended by vacuum cleaners.

"The best servant is one that is neither seen nor heard."

Of course, the Queen is not always in residence at all of her properties – and is currently staying primarily at Windsor Castle – so perhaps this rule does not always apply.

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buckingham palace aerial view

The Queen's home Buckingham Palace

The Royal Family's official website is currently advertising several housekeeping roles for those interested in joining the staff, including a Housekeeper at Windsor Castle for 40 hours a week. The job listing states: "This is a role of immense variety. You'll manage many aspects of our Housekeeping operation, including the presentation of the Castle, laundry services, guest hospitality, and daily conservation care of furniture and works of art."

Steering clear of vacuums isn't the only restriction in place at the monarch's homes. It was previously reported that staff can no longer have pet dogs come to work with them – despite the fact that the Queen herself is a huge dog-lover with her own pet Corgis.

The centuries-long tradition was supposedly put to an end in 2018 by The Lord Chamberlain, head of the Queen’s household. It cited hygiene and security as the reasons behind the decision.

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