One does not normally speak to my people at this time of the year but in the light of the splendid marriage between my grandson Prince William and Miss Kate Middleton, it is appropriate to convey a few words to what I am sure is a truly grateful nation.
I know, at this time of great austerity and hardship suffered by millions of my subjects as a result of the policies of my Ministers and captains of industry and finance, this pageant of royal history is particularly welcome.
To those who have unfortunately lost their homes to the banks, or whose job has disappeared so that others may continue to live well, those who despite their disability have had to reapply for their more than generous benefit, and young people without employment, to all of you we say: let your mind wander from your misery for a day at least. Enjoy other people’s happiness if you can’t manage your own.
For we are all in this together, as my Prime Minister and the Chancellor have conveyed on more than one occasion. The pain of my subjects’ suffering is heartfelt here at the Palace and at all my other royal residences. We all have to tighten our belts so that our nation may become great once again.
The House of Windsor is playing its part in the recovery of our country’s fortunes. Our allowance from Parliament is being abolished and we will have to live off the proceeds from the Crown Estate. As you know, running the Monarchy PLC is a somewhat expensive business.
Although my staff let it be known that the annual expenditure of the royal household is around £38 million a year, with security and other measures the true cost is closer to £180 million. So future access to the £200 million a year profits from the Crown Estate, which though nominally owned by the people through Parliament, are actually all mine as they were forcibly surrendered by one of our greatest monarchs, George III, is most welcome.
It is pleasing that the Estate is one of the world's biggest landowners and its tenants, mostly living in our great capital, pay millions of pounds in rent each year. Their rent cheques will now go directly to pay for your head of state and those who follow me on to the throne. I want to thank my Ministers for this most generous gift. I also want to thank them for any detention of unruly and ungrateful subjects prior to the great wedding who think treasonous thoughts and plot dastardly acts this Friday. One hopes that the Tower has enough room for them all.
I am most saddened that Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa of Bahrain is unable to attend the ceremony at Westminster Abbey as he has urgent matters to attend to at home in relation to unaccountably restless subjects. But Prince Mohamed Bin Nawaf of Saudi Arabia is most welcome. The help his Kingdom has given to the Kingdom of Bahrain in maintaining order is gratifying.
One cannot stress enough how important it is hang on to one’s crown in these turbulent times. One wonders where Britain would be if the House of Windsor did not continue to occupy the throne and pass it from one family member to another. Some say that hereditary privilege of this kind is a bad thing. Even my Deputy Prime Minister suggested something of the kind but I am pleased to see that my Prime Minister has put him in his place.
Let us go forward as one nation, making sacrifices where necessary. Let the bells ring out and people rejoice on this great occasion. For what is the alternative? Protest, assemblies, revolution, equality? God forbid.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.