Anorak News | Airfares & Graces

Airfares & Graces

by | 23rd, June 2005

‘EACH guest at one of the Queen’s garden parties consumes an average of 14 sandwiches, scones, ice-creams and beverages, says the Times.

Four Queen and country

And it’s right and proper they do. Indeed, we marvel at the modesty of people who, having paid for the monarchy all their lives, are finally offered the chance to get something back.

The surprise is that not all partygoers go to the Palace equipped with large suitcase in which they can place any leftovers, small dogs and crowns they see lying about the place. Or take up residency in one of the bedrooms.

But is 61p a head too much to pay for the Royal Family? The Queen’s accounts for the most recent full financial year are passed before our eyes this morning, and they make for an interesting read.

We note that the Queen trimmed” £100,000 from her household budget last year. We see that “rigorous cost control” has reduced the cost of running the monarchy by 0.3 per cent on the previous year, a reduction of 2.3 per cent in “real terms”.

But before we suggest other ways to lower overheads, like lopping Prince Edward and few other scions of dead wood off the Windsor family tree, the Times’s Robert Cole tells us the royals are great value for money.

“The Royal household has brand value to die for,” says he. If the Royals were floated on the stock market they’d be worth £6bn. “Shares would soar.”

And we welcome the idea of the royals being as accountable to the shareholders/citizens/subjects as a publicly listed firm.

Then there would be an AGM, and we could sit on the cheap seats and fire questions at them.

“How can it cost £379,929 to fly Prince Charles to Sir Lanka to visit tsunami survivors, onto Australia and Fiji and then back to Britain via Tokyo, £292,229 of it met by the taxpayer?

Why, as the Telegraph says, does it cost us £125,592 to fly Prince Andrew on one tour to Singapore, Brunei, Kuching, Kula Lumpur, Manila and Hong Kong and just £12,800 to fly Prince Philip and his aides to Toronto?

In all, it cost around £550,000 to fly Andrew around the world, enabling him to carry out his role as an ambassador for promoting trade abroad, to say nothing of air travel.

And golf. Because Andrew he has on at least three occasions managed to cram a game of golf into his hectic schedule.

So when you go to a garden party, fill your boots. And when they’re full, borrow and fill some of Her Majesty’s, Charles’s plant pots, Andrew’s golf bags…’

Posted: 23rd, June 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink