Queen Elizabeth II has made a magnanimous gesture to help ease the burden on average Britons trying to cope with the day-to-day restrictions they face because of the coronavirus shutdown.
With her enormous experience after more than six decades on the throne, the Queen is well aware of how small but symbolic gestures can be of great import in trying times.
To that end and to project a public image of calm and security, Her Majesty has made only minor, almost undetectable, changes to her daily routine during the coronavirus crisis (main picture). But she has discovered a way to be of direct support to her subjects.
My Buckingham Palace sources tell me that the Queen has declared that all stocks of toilet paper in all of the official residences used by her and other members of the Royal Family should be donated to various charities supporting those in need during the current crisis.
Her gracious gift will soon see thousands of toilet paper rolls rolling out of almost a dozen royal premises across the UK for distribution to individuals and families through a range of community-based charities.
My palace sources tell me that in the wake of nationwide orders for Britons to restrict their activities, Her Majesty was briefed on an audit of household supplies undertaken at royal residences such as Buckingham Palace, Kensingston Palace, St James’s Palace, Clarence House, Windsor Castle, Balmoral Castle, the Sandringham Estate, and several other establishments.
The Queen, I am told, was very surprised when told that the residences held the equivalent of several tonnes of toilet paper in stock.
My sources say Her Majesty asked her senior staff for an explanation. She was not so much interested in the level of toilet paper stocks, but about exactly what toilet paper was and its purpose.
As one of my sources said: “Her Majesty has never had any need for toilet paper as she has never in her entire life voided a royal coil.
“Therefore she has never had the need to use toilet paper and was utterly unaware of its existence.
“So it was very easy for her to order that all supplies be withdrawn from all royal homes and redistributed to the needy.
“Unfortunately that leaves no supplies for household staff who will need to resort to bringing their own rolls to work,” my source said.