Alison McQueen


Buckingham Palace

The Public Accounts Committee has criticized the Royal Family for mismanaging its finances. Tut tut. British taxpayers contribute around £31m into the Queen’s coffers to pay for her official duties, but the books are looking distinctly untidy.

The Committee has suggested that Buckingham Palace be opened whenever the Queen is away rather than for the current 78 days a year to rake in more funds.

I went for a wander around Buckingham Palace last summer and you know the first thing that struck me? I thought to myself, if this were my place, I’d rip this lot out and start again. Granted, some of the state rooms are very impressive in a BBC costume drama sort of way, but the rest of it? Hideous.

It feels like a place that is clinging on to the past simply for the sake of it. Sure, some the wallpaper’s been there since heaven knows when, but Queenie, it’s horrible. Get the decorators in. And some of those sculptures really ought to go to the Oxfam shop, or shove them in the back of a museum somewhere if you must.

A palace is supposed to fill one with a sense of awe, to impress upon its visitors the value and status of the occupying monarch. This is Great Britain, land of Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, stamping ground of Kelly Hoppen and David Hicks. Come on, your Maj, we can do better than this.