Buckingham Christmas party off

2010-10-14 22:13

London – A lavish Christmas party for royal staff has been axed by Queen Elizabeth II this year to "show restraint" at a time of economic austerity, Buckingham Palace said on Thursday.

The biennial party at Buckingham Palace is usually attended by about 600 staff of the Royal Household, who were on Thursday reported to be disappointed at missing a chance of mingling with senior royals.

According to the Sun newspaper, the event, which is financed by the monarch, costs around $80 000.

"The champagne flows like water and you feel your hard work has been appreciated," one staff member was quoted as telling The Sun. "This won't go down well."

The party had been earmarked for December 13.

Reports said it was not uncommon at such parties for the queen, 84, to hit the dance floor with a footman or Prince Philip waltzing with a maid.

"The Queen is acutely aware of the difficult economic circumstances facing the country. It was decided it was appropriate for the Royal Household to show restraint and not hold the party this year," said a spokesperson.