Buckingham Palace says there is a simple explanation for the sudden “slimming down” of the official Royal Family. It’s been planned for some time, my sources there whisper, and its announcement today following Prince Andrew’s controversial BBC TV interview at the weekend is “purely coincidental”.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II surprised royal circles and the British public by announcing overnight a major reduction in the number of members of the official Royal Family who are entitled to payment from the taxpayer-funded civil list and who carry out royal duties on her behalf.
“Her Majesty took this decision some weeks ago, so it should not be linked to Prince Andrew’s interview,” a palace source told me.
“If people were paying attention they would have noticed something was afoot last week on 14 November when the Queen appeared on the famous Buckingham Palace balcony to mark Prince Charles’s birthday, but without Prince Charles or indeed any of the relations and in-laws who usually accompany her for such major events (main picture).
“Even before his 71st birthday Charles had already been booted off the civil list along with what Her Majesty for some years now has described as ‘all these other hangers-on, bludgers, and do-little leeches on the public purse’.
“Her Majesty was in fact motivated to slim down the official Royal Family by a visit paid to her by US-based, Japanese-born organising consultant Marie Kondo.
“The Queen had expressed her desire to meet Ms Kondo and that was arranged a month or so ago at the palace (pictured).
“I must say the impact Ms Kondo had on the Queen was immediate, as anyone at the palace could tell you after they saw the state of the official reception room at Buckingham Palace just hours after their meeting finished (pictured).
“In the following days and weeks the Queen cleared out the half-dozen rooms she uses at the 775-room palace and plans to do the same for other royal residences.
“It was only logical that the Royal Family would be in Her Majesty’s sights once she caught the tidying-up bug and embraced Ms Kondo’s philosophy of keeping only those things that ‘spark joy’ in you,” the source said.