Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Queen wants more cash

She's a frail old lady and she's struggling with bills. Donations to Buckingham Palace, SW1, London

The Queen claims she is need of shrapnel and she wants it from you. It's today's news that £150million sponged off the taxpayer isn't enough. Her aids claim Buckingham Palace require an extra "£32m of refurbishment and maintenance in the next 10 years". Amongst the reasons cited, the rising cost of living as well as investments gone wrong in the wake of the stock market crash.

Nothing surprising there. At the end of the day, that's exactly what the royals have been doing for a mere few centuries and you can't ask a nit to grow their own head of hair. The surprising bit, however, is that even Daily Mail readers (i.e. the breed who still wet their bed at the thought of bowing before a superior creature) appear pissed off. A look at the general balance of opinion on the Mail site reveals that, aside from a resilient number of hardcore minions, there is very little sympathy for our down and out sovereign.

No doubt the creatures inside Buckingham Palace hold the belief that those measly few millions are theirs by right and that only a ruthless, hostile, ungrateful government would shun their plea. The plebs who are losing their homes, jobs or both can bugger off to the back of the queue. A God-given right is a God-given right, more so when it's a British one.

(Last month, the US magazine Forbes estimated the Queen's fortune at £349 million, including "unspecified property in England and Scotland, fine art, gems and a stamp collection built by her grandfather George V". The magazine added that "the true value of the Queen's private property, which includes Balmoral, Sandringham, a smaller collection of jewellery and some paintings has never been disclosed" and that [the Queen] "also derives a personal income of around £12.5million a year from the Duchy of Lancaster").

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