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The Fast-Food Restaurant You Probably Forgot The Queen Owned

Mashed 9/8/2022 Elaina Friedman
Queen Elizabeth II smiling in red hat © Alessia Pierdomenico/Shutterstock Queen Elizabeth II smiling in red hat

Fans of the royal family don't need to bribe an inside source to get the scoop on the late Queen Elizabeth II's favorite things to eat. Royal chefs have been more than willing to offer snapshots of a day in life at Her Royal Majesty's dining table, which usually played host to a simple breakfast of biscuits and Earl Grey (the queen's favorite tea), followed by a lemon-twisted gin and Dubonnet (which was the queen's favorite cocktail, no matter what Tom Hanks says), a healthful lunch of fish and vegetables, a fanciful afternoon tea filled with cream sponge and ginger cake, and a rounded dinner of meat and greens. With the news of her death, we have no doubt that her enormous legacy will live on in part through her love of food, in all its particularity. (And surely, the memorials held in her honor will include royal spreads of her favorite dishes.)

Of course, the queen's responsibilities extended far beyond dining and entertaining. As the head of state, the monarch also owned an eclectic variety of properties under the Crown Estate, including race courses, hotels, castles, an offshore energy compound, and a particularly posh outpost of one of the world's largest fast-food franchises (per Insider UK). That's right — the golden arches at Oxfordshire's Banbury Gateway Shopping Park was owned by the queen, and it shows. 

The Queen's McDonald's Has Eames Chairs And Leather Sofas

McDonald's Big Macs, fries, and a drink © Patcharaporn Puttipon2465/Shutterstock McDonald's Big Macs, fries, and a drink

As fans mourn the loss of Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 8 after dealing with COVID-19 and other health issues (per The New York Times), let's look a lighter moment back in 2017. Insider U.K. took a lengthy journey from London to pay a visit to the Oxfordshire McDonald's owned by Queen Elizabeth II with a cardboard cutout of Her Majesty in tow.

Immediately upon arrival, Insider remarked that the restaurant "immediately felt different to most McDonald's." Instead of the franchise's usual decor, the stately outpost is decked out with coveted Eames chairs and curved leather sofa benches, while sleek digital menu boards and tablets offer the now-ubiquitous luxury of contact-free ordering. 

We don't imagine the queen went out of her way to reign over this particular McDonald's, but because it was located on property owned by the Crown Estate, she decided to grace it with her signature touch. If you find yourself in the area, stop by for a Big Mac and raise a glass to Britain's longest-reigning monarch. 

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