Have you ever imagined what it might be like to live inside Buckingham Palace? Apparently, along with all the gilded decor and luxurious tapestries, there’s at least one “secret door” that reveals a hidden passageway — and Queen Elizabeth uses it all the time.
In fact, we’ve probably seen it in countless photos without realizing! It’s tucked away behind a mirror in the White Drawing Room, which is where Elizabeth often greets guests, poses for official photos with her family, and films her annual Christmas message.
A resurfaced video from 2015 makes this much more obvious. In the clip, Good Morning Britain presenter Kate Garraway cracks the door open for us all to get a good look at it. She was also joined by Anna Reynolds, Royal Collection Trust curator, who explained that it leads to the Queen’s private apartment. The path works as a shortcut for the matriarch to zip across the palace, saving her both time and from bumping into people as she makes her entrances.
See for yourself below:
Aside from the secret door itself, we love the story of the palace housekeepers using stale bread to get dust off the room’s impressive chandelier in the 19th century. They were clearly ahead of their time when it came to coming up with clever cleaning hacks!
Buckingham Palace isn’t the only residence with sneaky passageways, though. In 2011, UK journalist Fiona Bruce revealed a trap door hiding in one of the offices at Windsor Castle. This one, however, dates all the way back to the Middle Ages when British troops relied on the path to make a hasty exit if the castle was under siege.
Although we don’t think Elizabeth has much use for this particular passage these days, she and Prince Philip have been staying at Windsor Castle throughout the pandemic. Maybe they’ve at least explored it… Or used it for a fun game of hide and seek. OK, that might be a bit too silly for the royal couple — but hey, we’ve all had to find creative ways to pass the time lately.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.