The Fast Food Restaurant Queen Elizabeth II Sort Of Owned

This year, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II reached 70 years of service, and to celebrate her Platinum Juibelee the U.K. (and you could argue, the rest of the world as well) tucked into some classic British fare. The Royal Household even sold a special bottle of champagne to commemorate the occasion. But there was one fast food chain you probably didn't think to include a visit to during your royal celebration which was technically part of her domain.

The Queen's home, Buckingham Palace, is a massive estate, including a drawing room, throne room, ballroom, art gallery, and a sprawling garden of nearly 40 acres, per the Royal Collection Trust. But when English royalty isn't occupying one of the palace's 775 rooms they might fancy a trip to a decidedly smaller-in-size (but no smaller in scope) fast food icon just outside of London: McDonald's.

That's right. Among the Crown's empire are multiple hotels, castles, horse racing courses, and — perhaps surprisingly — a McDonald's. And this location is fit for royalty (via Insider).

A British Big Mac good enough for the Queen

Today, there are more than 1,270 McDonald's locations across the U.K. and believe it or not one of them was technically owned by Queen Elizabeth II herself – specifically, the McDonald's located in the Banbury Gateway Shopping Park in Oxfordshire.

The Queen was no stranger to ordering food just the way she wanted and "lovin' it." Her Majesty famously hated garlic so much it was banned from Buckingham Palace, according to a former palace chef (via National Post). But when Queen Elizabeth II wasn't enjoying her daily cocktail (a gin Dubonnet, if you please), or a slice of her favorite chocolate biscuit cake, she could have dined on a 10-piece. Per Insider, Banbury Gateway Shopping Park is part of the Crown Estate, which means its McDonald's location was technically owned by the Queen herself.

No ordinary McDonald's

Fittingly, the Banbury Gateway Shopping Park McDonald's location owned by Queen Elizabeth II is outfitted with Eames chairs and leather sofas for visitors to relax in style while they chow down on McFlurries and McNuggets (via Insider). Guests can click-clack across laminate floors and enjoy table service, like a sit-down restaurant. Not only are there enhanced seating and delivery options compared to your run-of-the-mill Micky D's, but there are also Samsung tablets for guests to use, free Wi-Fi, and charging pads so you don't have to dig a cord out of your bag or touch one that had been held in anyone else's greasy fast food fingers.

As the Banbury Gateway McDonalds' website cheekily asks, "Fancy a bite to eat on the go?" If you're craving a taste of "the Queen's McDonald's" for yourself, it's open every day from 6:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.

This is not the only McDonald's the Queen once owned

And if you are having trouble wrapping your head around the idea that Queen Elizabeth once technically owned a McDonald's location, have we got news for you: For a brief period of time, Her Majesty actually owned two McDonald's locations.

Located in Slough, The Telegraph reported in 2008 the Crown Estate purchased a retail park for £92 million. This land (named the Bath Road Retail Park) housed a McDonald's location, complete with a drive-thru. This means the Queen was the technical owner of both McDonald's locations for one year, as Insider reports the Crown Estate sold the land the Slough McDonald's sat on for 177 million euros in 2016. The Banbury Gateway Shopping Park McDonald's (which is still owned by the Crown Estate) was purchased in 2015.

So, did Queen Elizabeth enjoy the occasional Big Mac?

If you were the technical owner of a famous fast food chain beloved for its crispy fries and burgers, you may be tempted to stop in from time to time for a free meal. But then, you wouldn't be Queen Elizabeth II. In a 2020 interview with Insider, former palace chef Darren McGrady got candid about the many, many foods the Queen didn't eat. In addition to garlic (causes bad breath), shellfish (can't risk food poisoning), and pizza (apparently, the royal menus lean towards French), Queen Elizabeth almost never ate burgers. And when she did, you can bet they weren't your average drive-thru order.

McGrady told the outlet the Queen preferred her burgers without a bun and made with venison shot at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where the royal family spent summers. Burgers were eaten with a knife and fork (oddly enough, the same way Queen Elizabeth ate bananas) and paired with cranberry.