Queen Mother ‘was too frugal to buy TV’

May 17th, 2010 - 5:27 pm ICT by ANI  

London, May 17 (ANI): Queen Elizabeth, the late Queen Mother never agreed to buy a television set, and instead chose to use an “antiquated” video recorder to watch horse racing at her Scottish castle, according to a former aide. Ashe Windham, her equerry at the castle, claims the royalty also avoided spending money on the Castle of Mey’s interior and refused to replace her old raincoats.

It was reported after her death aged 101 in 2002 that she had a 4 million pound overdraft with Coutts, the royal bankers.

She received 643,000 pounds annually from the civil list, but the Queen and her favourite grandson, the Prince of Wales, heavily subsidised her income.

However, Windham, who now chairs the Castle of Mey Trust, which maintains the landmark as a tourist attraction, said he saw the Queen Mother’s parsimonious side.

“We would all move into the library [after dinner], where we would rearrange the furniture so we were all facing an ancient rental television set, which arrived every summer from a shop in Thurso,” the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

He added: “The most challenging job was to get the equally antiquated video recorder to work properly. This achieved, we would all sit and watch one of her favourite comedies, which included Dad’s Army, Fawlty Towers, Yes Minister, Keeping Up Appearances and One Foot in the Grave.

“If there was a horse race going on we would be asked to record it, which was something of a poisoned chalice in case it didn’t work.

“I remember saying on one occasion, ‘Ma’am the curtains in one of the upstairs bedrooms are rather falling to bits’.

“She looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and said: ‘I think they will last a few more years’.”

Mr Windham said she regarded her favourite Burberry jackets, four of which were blue and two green, as “old friends” from whom she was unable to part. He said he did not see her wear a new raincoat during his 28 years of service.

He said: “The Queen Mother was, in many ways, quite frugal in her way of life.”

“She was 14 when the Great War broke out and was very much accustomed to rationing.

“She understood where the general public were coming from and didn’t have extravagant tastes, with the sole exception of … horse racing.” (ANI)

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |