Queen nightmare: Monarch forced to AXE dozens of Palace staff amid £100million black hole

The Queen, 94, suffered a £100million loss during the coronavirus pandemic as popular tourist sites were forced to close, which will result in 86 full-time positions being made redundant, according to an expert. The Historic Royal Palaces had forecast an income of £110million for 2020 but have had to re-evaluate the figure to just £10million. The charity has since had to cut 86 full-time positions.

Speaking on ITV’s royal rota, Mr Ship said: “The impact coronavirus has had on the royal finances.

“Not the Queen’s income from the Sovereign Grant or the Duchy of Lancaster but this is for the charities, the historic royal palaces.”

Producer Lizzie Robinson said: “The historic royal palaces have six unoccupied sites; the Tower of London, Hampton Court, Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle.

“They were forecasting an income of around £110million this year.

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“But because of the pandemic they are now only forecasting an income of £10million.”

Mr Ship added: “So it’s a £100million loss.

“They’re saying that they’re having to make 86 full-time positions redundant which is going to affect 145 people from their payroll.”

It comes as the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have travelled to Sandringham after spending six weeks at Balmoral.

A palace spokesman said last week that the Queen and Philip intended to move from Balmoral “to spend time privately on the Sandringham Estate”.

The spokesman added: “Subject to the finalisation of the autumn programme, Her Majesty’s intention is to return to Windsor Castle in October and to resume the use of Buckingham Palace for selected audiences and engagements.

“These plans will be kept under review and will of course be subject to all relevant guidance and advice.”

Future arrangements for the 99-year-old duke are still being discussed.



Queen Elizabeth II fury: Monarch 'absolutely livid' after Sarah Ferguson's X-rated gaffe

The Queen, 94, was livid with Sarah Ferguson after she had been photographed on holiday with Texan millionaire John Bryan in a compromising position after separating from Prince Andrew. The Duke and Duchess of York had not yet divorced when the images came to light. Speaking on the Channel 5 documentary, Fergie Vs Diana: Royal Wives At War, royal expert Jenny Bond explained how embarrassed the Queen felt by the photos.

Ms Bond said: “It was excruciatingly embarrassing.

“She then went to the Queen and the Queen was livid.

“She was absolutely furious with Sarah.”

Narrator Glynis Barber added: “After her toe-curlingly awkward morning at Balmoral, Fergie made her exit.

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“Diana was rumoured to have played her part in the timing of Fergie’s frontpage story but why?”

Psychologist Jo Hemmings said: “It’s not the friendliest thing to do but if she’s desperate, maybe she thought that was a sacrifice worth making for her own sanity.”

Ms Barber continued: “But Diana’s tactics to divert the media spotlight from her to friend, Fergie was shortlived.

“Her own scandalous revelation took the heat off Fergie.”

The head of state had travelled with Philip to Balmoral in early August.

The couple went ahead with their annual stay in the Highlands after spending the previous four months at their Berkshire residence at Windsor Castle, with a reduced household dubbed HMS Bubble.

A palace spokesman said last week that the Queen and Philip intended to move from Balmoral “to spend time privately on the Sandringham Estate”.

The spokesman added: “Subject to the finalisation of the autumn programme, Her Majesty’s intention is to return to Windsor Castle in October and to resume the use of Buckingham Palace for selected audiences and engagements.

“These plans will be kept under review and will of course be subject to all relevant guidance and advice.”



Queen warning: Monarch told she has no power to halt nations stripping her ruling status

The Queen could soon see her title as ruler of Barbados stripped after Prime Minister Mia Mottley renewed her country’s intention to become a republic. Ms Mottley insisted the time has come for Barbados to leave “our colonial past behind” and said the Her Majesty’s removal process should be completed in time for the 55th anniversary of independence from the UK. Royal commentator Alastair Bruce noted the Queen has no power nor intention to interfere should Barbados vote to remove her title of queen of the island.

Asked whether Her Majesty had any say on the departure of Barbados, Mr Bruce told Sky News: “Only in as much as she will take advice from her Governor-General when the legislation is passed.

“And then she will very quietly accede to the choice of the Barbadian people. She’s been on many visits there and she knows the country very well.

“She is obviously committed to the Commonwealth. I don’t think there’s any intent by the Barbados to leave the Commonwealth, which, of course, it would join all the other countries that are republics but have the Queen as the head of the Commonwealth.”

The royal expert, who has also been serving as Governor of Edinburgh Castle since 2019, however said the Queen is unlikely to be saddened by the change.

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He continued: “She’s very, very happy to see each nation that has got this link to Britain in the past find its own way as they, the people, choose.

“That’s exactly what she’s always represented.

“While she has been Queen of Barbados, she has been on many occasions, she’s been closely informed and she’s seen how successful the current Prime Minister was in the last election only two years ago.

“She got a landslide majority, the first female Prime Minister for that country and it’s perhaps only natural that they again state they want a Barbadian Head of State.”

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Writing on Twitter, Mr Proctor said: “Big news. Now Barbados has played their cards, other CARICOM countries will follow. Jamaica will be next. Both main parties favour a Republic.”

Jamaincan politicians have in the past expressed a desire to turn the country into a republic and elect a native head of state.

The Prime Ministers Bruce Golding and Portia Simpson-Miller both affirmed their commitment to start Jamaica’s transition to republicanism when they were elected in 2007 and 2011 respectively.

Neither however brought forward the constitutional changes needed to deliver on their pledge before the end of their terms.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who was first elected in 2016, also pledged to make the transition to a republic the priority of his Government upon being confirmed for another term in September 2020.



Prince Charles caught in ‘impossible’ situation as future monarch

Charles has been prepared to inherit the throne since his birth, in 1948. However, now 72, the Prince of Wales has assumed the title of the oldest and longest-serving heir in British history. While many commentators have noted over the years the difficulties Charles has faced as the expectant heir with no defined role, commentator Howard Hodgson claimed the Prince of Wales will face an “impossible” set of circumstances when he takes to the throne.

Writing in his 2007 book, ‘Charles — The Man who will be King’, Mr Hodgson noted the role of the Prince of Wales has “never been harder than now”.

He explained: “Life was always going to be difficult for the 20th century monarchy, whether born to it or thrust into it by marriage; but the Prince of Wales has had a particularly tough time of it.

“What is the correct course for him?

“His ancestors were political rulers, but he will be a constitutional monarch.

“He cannot captain one political team and then change sides when it is defeated at the polls to captain another, so not only can he not take sides, he mustn’t allow his political beliefs to be known or cross the political line even when something he cares about passionately needs to be said.”

He noted Charles has “come close” to crossing that line on several occasions.

Charles has spoken out about education, politics and the environment over the last few decades — with his secret letters to Government ministers notoriously dubbed “the black spider memos”.

The heir to the British throne has faced criticism that he risks becoming a meddling monarch instead of assuming his mother’s apolitical stance.

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“But the idea somehow that I’m going to go on in exactly the same way if I have to succeed is complete nonsense, because the two situations are completely different.”

Still, Mr Hodgson noted: “His current position is almost impossible.”

He suggested Charles would be “accused of being a parasite” if he stands aside while controversial events take place as the restraints of being a constitutional monarchy usually means he cannot speak out.

Still, Charles has even been ahead of the cultural trends at times.

The Prince of Wales was described as a “loony prince” during the Eighties when he spoke out about the environment — but it is now becoming a mainstream issue discussed all over the world.

His commentary upon the environment is now looked upon favourably by most of the public.

However, his involvement with government policy, particularly during Tony Blair’s time in office, was heavily frowned upon, making it a difficult line to tread.

Charles’ predicament also means he has to stay in the public eye persistently, in order to remain relevant, but without creating too much furore.

He also has to follow in the footsteps of the Queen, who has reigned almost without fault for the best part of 70 years.

Some royal spheres believe the change in monarch may indicate a shift towards republicanism in many nations such as Australia and Canada — presenting yet another problem for Charles which could create a huge obstacle in his reign.



Queen devastated: Monarch to be kept apart from Kate and William's beloved children

The Queen will be unable to visit her grandchildren for the foreseeable future according to a royal expert. In a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus, the UK Government this week announced that in England people should not convene in groups larger than six. While on the Royal Rota show royal expert Chris Ship noted that this would mean that the Queen and Prince Philip would not be able to visit Prince William and Kate to see their grandchildren at the same time.

He added it was important the Royal Family were seen to be following the guidance from the Government despite attempting to get back to normality.

Mr Ship said: “The Scottish Government said today, just as the English Government said the other day, they are limiting gatherings to a maximum of six people.

“We basically worked out that the Queen and Prince Philip cannot go and visit William and Kate and all their children because that would make seven.

“William and Kate have three kids, and then the Queen and Philip make seven.

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Mr Ship noted that despite the Royal Family attempting to get back to their duties, some coronavirus measures make it more difficult.

He added: “These kind of things are suddenly more difficult and the Royal Family has to lead by example.

“So gatherings of more than six just is not going to happen.”

Royal Rota host Lizzie Robinson reflected on the time the Queen and Prince Philip have been spending together over the last few months.

Mr Ship then joked Prince Philip and the Queen may be getting on each other’s nerves like other married couples.

He said: “As a lot of husband and wives will tell you it is sometimes a good thing and sometimes a more challenging thing.

“We presume that the Queen and Prince Philip must have been getting on very well to continue being with one another.

“I suppose this is really going to be a home and office thing, the home is Windsor Castle and the office is Buckingham Palace.”



Queen heartbreak: 'Upset' monarch forced to mount 'unusual' defence of Sophie Wessex

Former royal press secretary Dickie Arbiter told Channel 5’s ‘Edward&Sophie: The Reluctant Royals?’: “The family was upset.

“They were upset for Sophie, that she’d actually being caught in this sting, not upset by what had been said because these were allegations.

“I’m not sure we ever heard a tape recording so they were allegations. They had not been proven.”

In a statement from Buckingham Palace, the Queen said: “The Queen deplores the entrapment, subterfuge, innuendo and untruth to which the Earl and Countess have been subjected to in recent days.”

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Narrator Glynis Barber noted Sophie had not been the first member of the Royal Family to be caught up in a similar scam.

Ms Barber said: “Though reported to be upset by the incident, the Queen gave her full support to the Wessexes.

“Other royals had been caught out by the fake sheikh, mainly the Duchess of York and Princess Michael of Kent.”

Despite the full backing of the Queen, Sophie still suffered “terrible consequences” for her indiscretion.

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The Countess of Wessex has since emerged as one of the Queen’s most reliable allies within the Royal Family, often accompanying Her Majesty on official outings and acting as companion during Buckingham Palace receptions.

Sunday Times’ royal correspondent Roya Nikkhah said: “It was a painful lesson to her to learn but the fact she was able to be rehabilitated after that incident shows just how highly valued she was, and still is, in the Royal Family.”

And with the departure of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle earlier in the year, Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex have both been suggested as potential successors to fill the vacancy the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have created.



Queen horror: Monarch forced to flee 'in nightie' after seeing Buckingham Palace intruder

Nearly 40 years later, Michael Fagan claims he broke into the London palace because he thought the monarch could help him and insisted he never intended to cause her any alarm.

Mr Fagan, then 33, was “fixated” on the Queen who demanded to know what he was doing before she ran out of the room in her nightie to get help in July 1982.

The brief encounter was one of the worst royal security breaches in the 20th Century after Mr Fagan climbed into Buckingham Palace through an open window, despite high security.

Mr Fagan, who says he was depressed after his wife left him, broke into the palace twice within a matter of weeks.

He claimed he urinated in corgi food and downed red wine. He later blamed magic mushrooms.

Mr Fagan told the Sun he was left to raise his four young children on his own and wanted to find out if Her Majesty could help solve his problems.

The retired decorator scaled a 10ft railing and climbed down a drainpipe and crawled through an open window.

He wandered the halls and slipped past staff, wearing just jeans and a T-shirt, he reportedly took off his socks and sandals.

Mr Fagan triggered an alarm but officers in the palace police control room turned it off twice thinking the system was faulty.

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In previous interviews, Mr Fagan said the monarch told him to ‘get out, get out’.

He claims the Queen climbed out of bed told him: “Just one minute, I’ll get someone.”

She ran out of the room barefoot in just a knee-length nightie with a Liberty print.

Mr Fagan had smashed a glass ashtray before entering the room, which he claims he did so he could use the shard to cut through pigeon netting on his way down the drainpipe.

The prowler sat on the bed for three minutes before a footman entered and said: “F*** me, you look like you could do with a drink.”

Mr Fagan was interrogated by Special Branch detectives at a police station but determined he posed no threat to the royals.

He was not charged with a crime and claims the palace officials did not want the Queen to give evidence in court.

The break-in happened just two weeks after Princess Diana gave birth to Prince William.

Mr Fagan claims he entered a room full of gifts of the newborn and saw doors with nameplates reading, ‘Diana’s room’ and ‘Charles’s room’.

He said: “People who have done marvellous things get to kneel in front of her to be honoured, but I actually sat on her bed and almost got to talk to her.”

The incident is set to be featured in a new series of The Crown with Olivia Colman as the Queen and actor Tom Brooke as Fagan.



Queen to resume royal duties within weeks as monarch 'very keen to return to normal'

The monarch, 94, reportedly plans to resume some official engagements in October. She is currently at Balmoral in Scotland after spending much of the coronavirus lockdown at Windsor Castle.

The Queen is expected to return to her Berkshire residence after her summer break and travel to London when she needs to for royal duties.

She feels she “needs to be seen to be believed”, a royal source claimed.

The source told Vanity Fair: “The Queen loves Windsor, it’s where she is most comfortable and so it makes sense for her to be there, but she also needs to be back in London for certain things and the plan is for her to commute as and when she needs to.

“The Queen wants to get back to work, she is very keen for things to return to normal as are her staff at the palace.

“There’s very much a sense on the Queen’s part of wanting to get back to work and normality.

“She has always said she needs to be seen to be believed and she knows how important it is that the public see her in the flesh.”

Another royal source added that hopes for the Queen to return to face-to-face engagements are “very high” but “it’s a case of how to make that work around the official guidelines”.

The Queen plans to attend the annual ceremony at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday, sources claimed.

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And in July, she attended the wedding of her granddaughter Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in Windsor.

She also knighted Captain Sir Tom Moore for his NHS fundraising in an open-air ceremony at her Berkshire residence.

The Queen is now enjoying her annual break at Balmoral with the Duke of Edinburgh.

Every year she spends the summer in Scotland where she is joined by other members of the Royal Family.

The Queen is thought to have been visited by family during this year’s holiday after months apart during the lockdown.

The royals spent the period at their residences across the country.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were at Anmer Hall in Norfolk with their three children.

Charles, who has recovered after catching coronavirus, and the Duchess of Cornwall were at Birkhall in Scotland.



Queen blow: Monarch forced to REPLACE Buckingham Palace with new 'base'

Royal expert Omid Scobie discussed the claim Queen Elizabeth II will move into Windsor Castle instead of Buckingham Palace following her return from Balmoral on the Heir podcast. Mr Scobie added Windsor Castle will be the Queen’s base for the foreseeable future as Buckingham Palace undergoes several renovations. 

Mr Scobie said: “We have had the news confirmed by the Sunday Times that Queen Elizabeth II will reportedly not be returning to Buckingham Palace this year due to the pandemic.

“She is currently on her annual stay in Balmoral in Scotland with Prince Philip after which they will return to Windsor Castle instead of Buckingham Palace.

“A source told the paper that this will be her longest absence from Buckingham Palace in a decade.

“Windsor will be her base for the foreseeable future, until the threat from coronavirus has lifted.

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“Buckingham Palace is undergoing a number of renovations at the moment so I would imagine this also gives an opportunity for construction to continue throughout the Palace and get it finished a little bit quicker than the due date we were expecting.”

Last weekend an enraged crowd of people gathered outside Buckingham Palace.

The footage from a ‘Freedom For The Children Global Walk London’ protest showed a group of people outside the Palace last Saturday.

The footage has been viewed by more than three million people since it was posted on Twitter.

The Facebook post said: “The purpose of this walk for change is to bring awareness to the current reality of child exploitation within our own communities and around the world.

“Let’s show our devotion and determination toward protecting these children, our communities most vulnerable, by requesting change and reformation within our government and law enforcement agencies to ensure that justice is brought in such a manner that it will significantly reduce instances of child exploitation while promoting awareness in order to end this ongoing issue.”

One protester wrote on Twitter: “I was there. It was a peaceful walk followed by a group meditation starting at the London Eye on to the Palace then to Downing Street.

“Organised by ‘Freedom For The Children’ FB group for #EndChildTrafficking We had full police support.”