She may have had roughly $98 million in the bank, but no one can accuse Queen Elizabeth‘s mom, the Queen Mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, of not being frugal. It has been reported that the fridge at the Queen Mother’s former Scottish residence, Castle of Mey, is firstly, still working, and secondly, now officially Scotland’s oldest working fridge. A Frigidaire made by General Motors, the appliance was bought in 1954 and recently passed its annual electrical test which makes it fit for service at the grand old age of 64!
Why do we know this? Well, the fridge will be featured in the Castle of Mey’s tour, which is set to run when the castle opens fully between May and October of this year. Standing at 5-feet, 8-inches, the only issue the refrigerator is said to ever have had was with its temperature gauge when underfloor heating was put into the castle in the year 2000.
Castle of Mey.
It got over that when it was positioned on blocks and has continued to whir ever since. As Shirley Farquhar, the castle’s managing director, said, “It was given its annual electrical check-up and has passed again. It is an essential part of the kitchen and working perfectly. It was certainly built to last.” But her fridge wasn’t the only item the Queen Mother — who sadly died at the age of 101 in 2002 — refused to update.
According to her equerry at the castle, Ashe Windham, she also chose not to replace her old much-loved Burberry raincoats which lived at the royal residence, didn’t ever want to upgrade the interiors, and even refused to buy the castle a TV and insisted on renting an ancient model for her annual visits instead. In an age where everything, it seems, is “disposable,” maybe we should all be taking a leaf out of the Queen Mother’s book — if it ain’t broke, don’t buy a new one.
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This post originally appeared on our sister site, Grazia Daily.