Far away, in Banbury Gateway Retail Park in Oxfordshire, England, there exists a very unusual McDonald’s restaurant.
The vast majority of its customers probably don’t notice anything out of the ordinary – the restaurant serves all the standard McDonald’s food you might expect, and it’s not particularly fancy in any way.
Behind all the Big Macs and milkshakes, though, is an interesting owner. This McDonald’s is the property of Queen Elizabeth II, and all proceeds from the restaurant go directly to the British government.
The Queen’s Crown Estate owns large swathes of land across the UK (as is probably not a surprise) and Banbury Gateway Retail Park is one of the endeavors to generate revenue from the land. There are a variety of different stores that can be found everywhere up and down the country, and the inclusion of a McDonald’s is no surprise.
A reporter from Business Insider took a trip to the Queen’s personal McDonald’s in order to get a good look at what goes on there.
Ordering a breakfast, the reporter did enjoy some particularly British food that you wouldn’t get anywhere outside of the country. In the UK, a typical McDonald’s breakfast can include a McBacon Roll with brown sauce (also known as HP or “Houses of Parliament” sauce), and a cup of hot tea instead of the typical coffee options that are more common in America.
The Queen’s Estate collects the profits from the McDonald’s at Banbury Gateway, but Elizabeth herself doesn’t actually see any juicy burger cash – all proceeds are sent directly to the UK Treasury, to be distributed to public services. Customers of this McDonald’s are often unwittingly paying for libraries, public transport, and salaries for government employees.
If anything, this is just a nice reminder that everyone loves McDonald’s – even the Queen (although not necessarily for the reasons you’d expect).