Queen sets examples for Britain in credit crunch - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Queen sets examples for Britain in credit crunch

LONDON (AP) - It may seem improbable for a woman who divides her time among four palaces, but Queen Elizabeth II has a reputation for watching her pounds and pence.

On Thursday, for instance, she toured Oxfordshire in the same deep-red coat and hat she wore at Prince William's army commissioning ceremony two years ago.

The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday, citing unnammed sources, that the queen had urged family members to follow her example and avoid displays of extravagance in response to the global economic crisis.

Buckingham Palace denied the report, but said the queen "has a very strong head of nation role, and she is always aware of what is going on in the country and is sensitive to that."

Any suggestion of royal extravagance - such as Prince William's use of Royal Air Force helicopters to impress his girlfriend and to attend a bachelor party - inevitably provoke sharp comment.

The queen, in contrast, won kudos in the press last month when she attended a ball in Slovenia in a gown stitched up from some silver-gray brocade cloth that had been on hand for more than two decades.

Her husband, Prince Philip, still appears at Royal Navy ceremonies in the uniform he wore to his wedding 61 years ago, the palace confirmed. And he recently sent a 51-year-old pair of trousers back to his tailor for restyling.

The queen hates waste, royal biographer Sarah Bradford has written.

"She also hates to give things away or to pay too much for anything," Bradford wrote.

Responding to public pressure, the queen voluntarily became a taxpayer in 1993. The palace has become increasingly open about its finances, and boasted this year that the royal family cost Britons just 62 pence ($0.95) each.            

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)      

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