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The Queen's £5,000 new "throne" - which she never used!!


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Council spent £5,000 on new toilet for the Queen - which she didn't even use


Last updated at 17:57pm on 16th October 2007 commentIconSm.gif Comments

QueenL_228x366.jpgRoyal wee: Queen Elizabeth


A council has been caught short of cash after spending £5,000 on a toilet for the Queen - which she didn't even use.

Officials were left staggered when they totted up the cost of Her Majesty's visit to their town and realised it had cost them an astonishing £20,000 an hour.

Royal officials told trip organisers Her Majesty would not use an old toilet and insisted a new one be installed in the town hall before her visit - in case she needed a "royal wee".

But the brand new toilet remained unused during the three hour walkabout in Romsey, Hants.

The extra expense of the toilet added to the council's troubles as the cost of the visit escalated out of control.

The trip, marking the 400th anniversary of Romsey Town Council's Royal Charter, was expected to cost just £20,000.

But councillors were too embarrassed to cancel when they found out weeks before the Queen was due to arrive that the true cost would be a staggering £38,000 more.

Rule changes meant the police were no longer responsible for security costs and the council also had to pay for barriers, cones and even evacuation plans to be drawn up.

The council is now asking Test Valley Borough Council to cover the "unforseen" costs and one councillor has offered to contribute £5,000 from his own expenses.

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toiletJAY1610_468x804.jpgThrone: the toilet was built specially for the Queen to use during her visit to Romsey


Romsey town clerk Judith Giles was amazed when the Queen's officials insisted on a new toilet.

She said: "I told the Buckingham Palace officials that the toilets were not in pristine condition but they were clean.

"They said you will have to replace it, there was no argument. It was 'you must do it'."

Mrs Giles revealed how the trip has wiped out the council's reserves, worth more than a third of its annual £160,000 budget.

She said: "The extra costs did not come to light until four weeks before the visit.

"The embarrassment of having to cancel four weeks before the Queen was coming wouldn't have been in the interest of Hampshire."

Hairdresser Nick Martin, who was forced to cover up the Trevor Mitchell sign on his shop for the visit, did not believe it was good value for money.

He said: "I'm not against the Royal family. It's good she came.

"But from a business point of view and the cost of the visit I don't think it was necessary."

The Queen and Prince Philip attended a service at Romsey Abbey in June this year before unveilling a charter stone and plague to commemorate Romsey being awarded Borough status by King James I in 1607.

Mayor of Romsey, Mark Cooper, said today: "If we do not recover the money from the district council we will have to put up the council tax precept next year.

"I'm not sure how much it will be yet - but we're working on the sums at the moment.

"It was one of the most memorable days in Romsey history. I've since had a letter from the palace saying what a wonderful day it was."

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