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Is the Queen worth 69p a year?

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“Don’t give the Queen any more of our money, Republic, the campaign for an elected head of state, pleads in a statement on its website.

Royal expenditures rose 1.5 percent to 41.5 million pounds in the last financial year, after allowing for inflation.

Buckingham Palace says this is good value – equivalent to just 69 pence per person in Britain.

Republic says: “With that sort of accounting you can justify pretty much anything.”

Fit for a banquet?

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By Rosalba O’Brien

I’ll tell the truth. When I went to preview tonight’s royal banquet at Britain’s Buckingham Palace, being held as part of the pomp accompanying the state visit of the Mexican president Felipe Calderon, I expected to be writing something on the lines of ‘Credit crunch? What credit crunch?’ – not for the global aristocracy, diplomatic corps and oil company bosses in attendance.

The truth, however, is something rather more ordinary.

Sure, the banquet room is lavish enough, with its giant bouquets, golden tableware, classical carvings and gilded ceiling. It’s certainly a bit bigger than my living room, what with the military band on the mezzanine and all.

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