Queen Elizabeth II reins in extravagance as credit crunch gripsShockingly, the Queen appeared at a state function wearing a dress previously seen in public! Oh the horror.
Agence France Presse
Dec. 14, 2008
Always concerned about staying in touch with her subjects, Queen Elizabeth II has invited the royal family to follow her example and tighten the purse strings during the financial downturn.
The 82-year-old monarch has warned her grandsons Princes William, 26, and Harry, 24 -- third and fourth in line to the throne -- that all ostentatious signs of living it up would be inappropriate, according to newspapers.
British subjects are apparently in no mood to see the young royals partying in exclusive London nightclubs while the kingdom sinks into recession, the cost of living rockets and jobs are lost.
"Whatever is the mood of the nation, she (Queen Elizabeth) tries to go along with that mood," Nicholas Davies, an author of several books on the monarchy, told AFP.
The sovereign has a personal fortune of 320 million pounds (475 million dollars, 355 million euros), according to The Sunday Times newspaper's 2008 Rich List, but is not a spendthrift.
"She's not a flamboyant character and never has been," Davies said.
"She is not someone who has gone and spoiled her children, because she doesn't believe in spoiling them. She would expect them all (the other royals) to follow her example this Christmas.
"Children or grand-children, they will all behave in the same way. It is unlikely that this coming season we will see William and Harry going out to nightclubs, getting blind drunk and fooling around with attractive girls."
Adapting to the credit crunch should not be difficult for Queen Elizabeth, who has long since garnered a reputation for looking after the pennies.
For example, she insists that the Buckingham Palace lights are turned off when rooms are vacated and left-overs from banquets are re-used.
Annual head of state expenditure has dropped from 87.3 million pounds in 1991-1992 to 40 million pounds in 2007-2008.
In all seriousness, I'm a big fan of Queen Elizabeth the Second and have seen her at both a White House event and in a joint address to Congress. She's an icon of the 20th Century who has managed to hold on into the 21st.
And while she may live rather frugally on a personal level, the old girl has a job to do after all:
Good to see that Lady Margaret Thatcher was well enough to attend.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (C) leaves the Palace of Westminster following the State Opening of Parliament in London, on December 3, 2008.
You youngins behave now ya here?
Prince William and Prince Harry arrive for the Royal World Premiere of the new James Bond 007 film 'Quantum of Solace' at the Odeon, Leicester Square, on October 29, 2008 in London, England.