Windsor Castle house staff move away from tradition

eiderdown sheets

As private household staff would know, providing comfort and normality in a luxury and a highly regarded house is of paramount priority.

But a recent article from The Telegraph has outlined changes which the household staff of Windsor Castle, often used by the Queen to host State Visits, wish to implement in the near future.

Staff at the Queen’s Windsor Castle residence are making the controversial decision to move away from the traditional eiderdown sheets in guest bedrooms, in favour of the common duvet. Although the Royal Family would like it to be retained because of the tradition, the household staff say it is  time consuming to make the beds up in this way, but that it why it is liked so much.

Eiderdown sheets are those that are typically filled with eiderdown feathers and are flat quilts, unlike the common duvet which is heavy and dense. The reason as to why the Royal household staff have found the fitting of the sheets so time consuming is because eiderdowns are layered with sheets, bedspreads and blankets, meaning layers can be added or removed depending on the desired temperature of the individual.

Many leading etiquette persons have been disputing the decision. Alexandra Messervy, founder of leading etiquette and household management consultancy The English Manner, said that the choice was a “uniquely personal one.”

“There is no hard and fast rule on it, it is very much a matter of personal preference. Many like to use a duvet and throw a bedspread on it in order to retain that traditional look.”

With the changing of the eiderdown to the duvet, it seems that traditions are being replaced by more modern and up-to-date luxuries. Could this see the change of how the cleaning of silver and polishing of shoes are done, too?

Image Credit: Neil Barnwell (

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