Monday, June 29, 2009

Worth the Pound?

What price royalty? Back in the days of Beyond the Fringe, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore took a light-hearted approach to this question in the "Royal Box" sketch. This is the one in which Moore goes to the same theater every night and pays for a seat from which he can see the Royal Box, figuring that, sooner or later, he will get to see the Royal Family sitting there. The punch line comes with the following exchange:

Cook: Do you really mean to say to spend fifteen shillings every night just on the off-chance you may catch a glimpse of the Royal Family?

Moore: Well, they're not worth the pound.

On a more serious note this morning the BBC released a report on the impact of Royal expenses (should that last word have been capitalized?) on the annual budget for the United Kingdom. The "bottom line" is that the Royal family costs the government £41.5 million, an increase of £1.5 million from last year's budget. This comes down to 69p for every person in the country, which means that they really are not worth the pound; but, in a time of serious economic hardship, they certainly cost far more than a pretty penny!

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