staff were devastated last night after the Queen axed the Buckingham
Palace Christmas party in a cost-cutting drive.
By JAMES CLENCH, Royal
looking forward to the lavish bash as it is the one time they can
mingle with senior Royals.
But Her Majesty was determined to show solidarity with a nation
struggling with hardship and called it off after consulting senior
courtiers. One worker said: "It's the first time in memory the
party's been cancelled. We're all devastated as it's a great night
when everyone lets their hair down.
"The Royals mix freely with servants - it's normal to see the
Queen dancing with a footman or Prince Philip waltzing with a
"The champagne flows like water and you feel your hard work has
been appreciated. This won't go down well."
Some 1,200 guests were due at the £50,000 party, scheduled for
They included around 400 flunkeys from Buckingham Palace, Clarence
House and Windsor Castle - plus 250 privately-employed staff from the
Queen's estates. The event, funded from the Queen's private income, is
held every two years and had been pencilled in this year.
But a source close to the 84-year-old monarch said: "The Queen
understands the situation the country is in and wanted to take a lead.
Anything seen to be ostentatious was out of the
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "Given the current economic
climate it was thought that it was appropriate for the Household to