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How royalty works

Dowager Empress Tzu-Hsi of China

Life as a Royal

Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco comment the ongoings at the Maestranza bullfight in Seville, April 19, 1966.

You might think that royals enjoy lavish lifestyles in opulent palaces, with hundreds of servants on hand to take care of their every need. You may be imagining beautiful country manor houses, expensive cars, gold- and gem-encrusted finery and custom-fitted clothes. Well, it turns out you're on the right track. The lives of royalty are indeed very privileged.

Although Scandinavian royals are known for a more down-to-earth style (they are sometimes referred to as "bicycle monarchies" for their habit of taking rides around public streets), the royals of Britain, Monaco and Morocco do their part to keep up the royal reputation for splendor.


1997, Queen Elizabeth II and her family would frequently take trips on board Britannia. the royal yacht. The 412-ft. craft carried not just the royals but five tons of luggage and more than 250 servants and crew. If they want to get away from it all without taking to the sea, English royals can spend time at Balmoral. their country house in Scotland. In truth, it's a 50,000-acre estate. What is it they're leaving behind when they take such trips? Only Buckingham Palace. a 240-bedroom manse in London with more than 400 servants on hand. However, Buckingham is dowdy compared to Windsor, Elizabeth II's traditional family retreat. Her Royal Highness can always find a seat of power -- there are eight thrones scattered about the palace's 650 rooms [source: Heyman ].

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