The Queen only has two days off a year!

By Gemma Strong

The Queen works tirelessly year-round as one of the hardest working members of the British royal family – even at the age of 91. In fact, there are just two days in the year when the monarch does not receive a red box from the government, containing policy papers, cabinet documents and other important documents, all of which have to be read, and where necessary, approved and signed. Her Majesty’s role as head of state means she needs to be kept informed of what is happening in Parliament and other governments around the world, as well as current events from across the globe, and there are only two occasions when she is not obliged to read the contents of the daily red box - Christmas Day and Easter Sunday.

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The Queen pictured attending the Christmas Day church service at Sandringham

The red boxes are delivered to the Queen on a daily basis by the Page of Presence, who mans the Privy Purse door where members of the British government are received, and the boxes are delivered and dispatched. The Page's other duties include acting as a personal attendant to royal visitors, looking after the Buckingham Palace visitors' book and ensuring the service of meals to the royal family runs smoothly.

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The monarch receives a daily red box, sent to her by the government

As well as receiving her daily updates from government, the Queen also has a weekly audience with the Prime Minister, which usually takes place at the Palace on Wednesdays at 6.30pm. No written record is made of such meetings; communications between Her Majesty and the PM remain strictly confidential. Although the Queen is politically neutral, she is kept up-to-date with political affairs and retains the right to express her views during these meetings.

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