Austerity has reached the very top of society. The Queen will not be throwing a Christmas party for the Buckingham Palace staff this year. The grooms and butlers will have to organise their own do in the Coach and Horses if they want to get drunk, bitch about the bosses and attempt to snog the ladies-in-waiting.
Parties don't come cheap at the Palace. According to The Sun, it would cost £50,000 to entertain the 600 members of staff. But that is almost £85 a head. What sort of party do they get for that? Robbie Williams doing the music? Swans' eggs and pickled llamas?
I'm sure that they could keep the party if they just cut down a bit on the extravagance. The Queen could do it for a quarter of the price by putting £10,000 behind the bar (surely enough for booze, especially if they get it wholesale), getting a few trays of M&S sandwiches and mini scotch eggs and then relying on the Duke of Edinburgh to keep the team entertained with his impersonations of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu.